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LISTEN | Don't 'Pata Pata': Miriam Makeba's hit updated for Covid-19 era

LISTEN | Don't 'Pata Pata': Miriam Makeba's hit updated for Covid-19 era

The late great Miriam Makeba's hit songPata Patahas been re-released by UNICEF with new lyrics aimed at helping beat the spread of coronavirus.

The words of the 1967 classic, which became synonymous with our country's liberation struggle, have been re-written to encourage safe distancing and hand washing.

While pata pata means "touch touch" in Xhosa, some of the lines in the revamped song go:

In this time of coronavirus it's not touch time.

Everybody can help fight Covid-19. Stay at home and wait it out.

This is no-pata-pata ... We need to keep our hands clean.

Benin-born Angelique Kidjo, who was mentored by Makeba, sings the re-recorded version. 

In a statement from UNICEF, Kidjo said the song reminded her of a friend, Afro-Jazz veteran Manu Dibango, who died earlier this month after contracting Covid-19.

"Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope," said Kidjo. "Pata Pata has always been there for people at a time of struggle. I hope it helps once more."

Known fondly as "Mama Africa", Makeba died aged 76 in November 2008 after a performance in Italy.