In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that is hitting the world, Angélique Kidjo joins forces with UNICEF and sings “No Pata Pata”, a cover of Miriam Makeba’s worldwide hit “Pata Pata”. We dance, but we keep our distance.
Beninese diva Angélique Kidjo, a UNICEF ambassador, has just recorded an updated version of Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata”. The very first version was recorded in 1957 by the South African singer in Johannesburg, accompanied by her group, the Skylarks. But it was the second version, which Makeba would record ten years later in the United States, that would go on to reach the top of the charts and become an international hit.
In both cases, it refers to a popular dance in Johannesburg in which the partners played a “touch-touch” dance (this is the meaning of “Pata Pata” in Xhosa). Precisely in these Coronavirus times, there is no longer any question of dancing Pata-Pata and touching each other. So “No Pata Pata” becomes a slogan, and also the title of this cover of the beautiful Angélique, who adapted the lyrics of the song to encourage Africa and the world to adopt barrier gestures.
Kidjo’s cover of the song was also a tribute to her friend Miriam Makeba (she had also covered “Malaïka”) and the late saxophonist Manu Dibango (with whom she had been rehearsing with until two months ago). “Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope,” the singer explains in a statement.