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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
African star begins farewell tour
Miriam Makeba
Makeba plans to continue her music career
Legendary South African singer Miriam Makeba is to end her performing days with a world tour, after a career spanning more than 50 years.

The 73-year-old singer will begin her tour in Johannesburg on Monday.

"I have to go and say farewell to all the countries that I have been to, if I can," she said.

Makeba - known as Mama Africa - spent 31 years in exile for her commitment to human rights and condemnation of apartheid in her home country.

'Taxing'

She did not return to her home city of Johannesburg until after Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990.

Makeba won a Grammy award in 1966 for best folk recording with Harry Belafonte for the album An Evening with Belafonte and Makeba.

She also performed with Paul Simon on his Graceland tour in the mid-1980s.

Makeba - whose biggest hits have included Pata Pata and Malaika - plans to continue recording new music after the tour, which is due to end sometime next year.

She said: "I am 73 now, it is taxing on me.

"I don't want to travel as much as I have been. But as long as I'll have my voice, I'll keep on recording."

Makeba said her new album will be released "very soon", adding that she has "a lot" of record projects planned, including reworking some of her early songs.




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