Remembering Brenda Fassie: The Queen Of African Pop.

Collectively written by culture club writers.

I am proud to be an African.” -Brenda Fassie

Sixteen years ago on this day, 09th of May 2004 many people received devastating news about the death of Brenda Nokuzola Fassie, but mainly known as just Brenda Fassie. Brenda was a South African anti-apartheid afro-pop singer, songwriter, activist and dancer according to Wikipedia. We all know that MaBrrr (her nickname given to her by her fans) was unapologetic about who she was. She was outspoken and raw. That may have been the reason she was known as the queen of African pop, the black Madonna or the Madonna of the townships.

Born and raised kwaLanga, in the Mother land on the 3rd of November 1964 her destiny was bestowed upon her when she was named after American perfomer, Brenda Lee. She made the big move to the fast paced city and settled in Soweto where she began to build a name for herself. From her debut studio album titled, “Ag shame lovey” released in 1987 to working with the Big Dudes and making seven albums with them and releasing eighteen solo albums, she was a force to be reckoned with.

Brenda Fassie was an insanely talented musician. Not only was she able to reinvent herself, but she also pushed boundaries through her music. She shared the tales of a frustrated yet hopeful South Africa through her music. Even though she was an African pop queen, over time she saw how the politics affected the people of her country. She used her music as a political weapon to fight the enemy. In 1990, when Kwaito was slowly taking over the hearts and dance floors of South Africa, she adapted to the new sounds that represented South Africa. When her single, Black President was banned by the apartheid government, she decided to stop singing in English.

Most of her songs were in Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho.Through the evolution and growth of Kwaito, Brenda reinvented her sound. When Kwaito music stretched far beyond the streets of Soweto, she adopted the genre adding her own authentic style.

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