mamaafriq-flyer_mgNYU Hosts U.S. Premiere of
“Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical”

October 3rd, 2016
An international production

New York, N.Y.  (Oct. 3rd , 2016) – The North American premiere of Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical will open October 3rd at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The production tells the story of activist and Grammy award-winning singer Miriam Makeba, outlining her role in bringing down apartheid, her varied musical career, betrayals, failed marriages and death of her only daughter while in exile. Set in Africa, the USA and Belgium, this musical is an inspirational and universal story that will appeal to multi-generational audiences worldwide. The story is set to the tapestry of Miriam Makeba’s solo penned works, lending and rendering a spiritual experience as the story unfolds and concludes, a rare and uncommon listening opportunity for those who know and love the work of Miriam Makeba. For those discovering Miriam Makeba an inspiring journey to the soul of this great woman is to be found forever touching one.

mamaafrica_photoThis production is in collaboration with ZM Makeba Trust and its wholly owned exclusive licensee Siyandisa Music (PTY) Ltd, the home of Miriam Makeba’s intellectual property and archive and between the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of the Western Cape. Niyi Coker, Distinguished Professor of Theater and Cinema Arts at UMSL, serves as both the production’s writer and director. Miriam Makeba set up the ZM Makeba Trust and Siyandisa Music (PTY) Ltd in 2002 with a multiple decade long term vision to enable such opportunities as Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical. A variety of semi-professionals, students and newcomers make up the extensive cast of 40 South African actors of various ethnicities.

Inspiration for this project took a complex path: beginning with Coker writing a book and musical on another African musician; a relocation from the University of Alabama to UMSL; the creation of the Africa World Documentary Film Festival; a journey to the archives of the ZM Makeba Trust and securing the rights subsequently activating the partnership with the University of the Western Cape all led Coker to develop an original production on an iconic South African woman whose indelible impact reverberated for five decades across the world. “All these elements coalesced in inspiring the creation and direction of this work. The fact that Miriam Makeba was a prominent international icon who contributed so much to the struggle for liberation and emancipation of the African spirit, fighting injustice and yet had no musical drama or major piece to commemorate her greatly stoked the fires of creativity within me.”

The production will return to Cape Town in 2017

Miriam Makeba: Mama Africa the Musical will be performed at the
Skirball Performing Arts Center at NYU
located at the corner of LaGuardia Place and Washington Square South
at the base of NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life
The main entrance is at 566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012

The show is scheduled for October 3rd at 7:30 PM
Tickets are $25 for students, $40 for general admission
For more information, visit


Click here for show trailer