Mama Africa sings in Monte Carlo

MUSIC LEGEND: Mirriam Makeba. Pic. Mbuzeni Zulu. 19/11/04. © Sowetan.
MUSIC LEGEND: Mirriam Makeba. Pic. Mbuzeni Zulu. 19/11/04. © Sowetan.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

South African music legend Mir iam Makeba has been invited to the prestigious World Athletics Gala at Monte Carlo in Monaco on Sunday.

It is the first time a South African singer will perform at the event, which will be hosted by Prince Albert 11 of Monaco.

The most outstanding athletes of the year will be honoured at the event.

The men's section nominees for the world athlete of the year are Virgilijus Alekna, Lithuania, 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, Jamaica, and Liu Xiang, China. The women's category nominees are Meseret Defar, Ethiopia, Sanya Richards, US, and Sherone Simpson, Jamaica.

Jumper Hestrie Cloete, who has retired, is the only South African to have won the award. She won in 2003.

Affectionately known as "Mama Africa" in music circles, Makeba will entertain the world stars of athletics who form part of an estimated 600 guests.

The first African to win a Grammy Award, Makeba could not be reached for comment.

Leonard Chuene, president of Athletics South Africa, said it was a great honour for Makeba to be invited to the yearly event.

"It shows that we have talent in abundance."