Brenda Nokuzola Fassie, affectionately known as 'MaBrrr' left a musical legacy that continues to keep her memory alive. Thirteen years ago on this day, South Africa lost an iconic singer and one of the greatest entertainers to come out of the country.
Brenda was known for her confidence in her singing and performance abilities, often dubbed as the "Madonna of the Townships", she had a larger-than-life influence on the music of the continent.
In an interview with "Selimathunzi", Fassie says: "e seng hore ke a choma, a ke chomi... mara bang thotse hierso, ene batlong siya hier... bona ba fita mfethu," making it known that she is the knows her craft and equally slays at it.
MaBrrr used a lot of her songs to speak to the socio-economic and political issues that were happening in the country at the time. The three songs which stand out are the following:
My Black President
This song was composed as a tribute to Nelson Mandela who was unjustly imprisoned in South Africa for his anti-apartheid actions. In the song MaBrrr sings Madiba's clan names as a means of paying homage to him: "Madiba, Yem-Yem, Ngqolomsila, Sopitsho!"
In this songs MaBrrr laments on the attack of 45 township residents which was carried out by armed men from the steelworks residence KwaMadala Hostel on the people of Boipatong. She also calls for the unification of South Africans in the song.
For many years Africans have believed in the notion of consulting with the spiritual realm to ask for protection and guidance and this song is an apt celebration of the notion that there is no issue that is without a solution.
Many people took to social media to lament on her music and the influence she still carries through to this day.
It comes as no surprise that she is missed by many because her music and stage presence was adored by everyone, from youngsters to elderly. Even those who were born after Brenda Fassie's death are aware of whom she is and know her musical prowess.
This book should be an all-time bestseller alongside Long Walk to Freedom, I Write What I Like, and the Bible--because it is Brenda Fassie! pic.twitter.com/9pUZZzyFzw— Abantu Book Festival (@Abantu_) May 9, 2017
The MaBrrr magic lives on and the she will always be remembered for her ability to wax lyrical on real life issues which affected South Africans.
She stayed true to her voice and continued to tell the true story of the black South African experience and for this reason her music has always and continues to stay on in our collective memory as a country.