Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
3 Nov 2015
1:18 pm

When Brenda Fassie made Mandela dance

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Brenda Fassie would make everyone sing and dance, including former president Nelson Mandela.

South Africa's bad girl Brenda Fassie sings a birthday song for liberation struggle hero Nelson Mandela at the launch of the Kora awards music CD at Club Kilimanjaro. Picture: Gallo Images/ City Press/George Mashinini

The Vulindlela hit maker got the struggle stalwart dancing the famous Madiba dance. Not only was she a mother to her only son Bongani Fassie but she was a friend and music diva to many.

Fassie, also known as MaBrrr, died on 9 May 2004 from an alleged drug overdose. Known for her unique music, mostly in venac, MaBrrr could turn any subject into a song. She sang about weddings, nosy neighbours and even struggle songs which helped people deal with the difficult times back then. Her music even reached out to toddlers who would dance and sing along to her music, not really understanding what they were singing.

She had a song for every occasion, be it people chilling at a park, they would listen to her music; even wedding and party steps were done with her music. When she sang gospel, she would take you straight to church with songs such as Soon and Very Soon.

MaBrrr was a free spirit, she brought life into any dead atmosphere, always laughing and singing. Our star who is gone, but never forgotten, would have turned 51 today.

Only she could get a full house of politicians dancing without care, even Mandela, during one of her performances. Do you remember this?

To celebrate her birthday, we have compiled five songs that got us dancing and singing along:

  1. Recently sung by Idols SA’s Mmatema, here’s Weekend Special

2. Vulindlela


3. Memeza

4. Mpundulu

5. Wedding Day

And the bonus track that got every toddler on its feet and singing along was Ag Shame Lovey

One last one, a history lesson in song with My Black President