Pop icon Brenda ‘MaBrrr’ Fassie passed away on this day in 2004.
MaBrrr may be gone, but her music lives on. She started singing when she was only three, but her music career began when she filled in for a member who was on maternity leave on a band called Joy. After leaving Joy, Fassie formed her own band called Brenda and the Big Dudes.
Their first recording, Weekend Special, gained them international status and remains one of Fassie’s most popular songs.
Vulindlela is a celebratory song about a son finally getting married and has become the ultimate wedding anthem. It was voted Song of the Decade at the South African Music Awards on April 26, 2004, a month after her death.
Black President was released towards the end of the apartheid era as a tribute to former president Nelson Mandela. The song tells his life story and his gruelling experiences in jail. Years later, Mandela was released from jail, and in fact, became the first black president of South Africa.
Black President is arguably one of the best songs about the freedom struggle.
The success of Too Late for Mama was the result of her partnership with another music legend, Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala. Both Fassie and Twala worked on the album of the same, which achieved platinum status in 1989.
Brenda was the epitome of a feminist, trendsetter and bad girl. Her eccentric personality and music stole millions of hearts all over the continent. Her song, iStraight Lendaba, was released at a time when Kwaito music was at its peak.
The song greatly influenced the culture of the country at the time.