On what would have been her 52nd birthday, Brenda Fassie is remembered as an icon who has left an exceptional legacy in South African music and culture.
Author and culture critic Bongani Madondo says that Fassie, who was popularly known as 'MaBrrr', had a unique ability to embrace both her South African origins and the popular African American pop culture traits of the 80's in her artistry.
What made Brenda Fassie deep is she was able to resonate... You hear people, especially people who are religious, they say that God lives within you. When you ask, Brenda was something else. What is that 'else'. She was you, she was me. Her story resonated with our anxieties and our hopes.— Bongani Madondo, author and culture critic
Fassie was not only South Africa's 'queen of pop', her music was well-received beyond the country's boundaries.
Speaking to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu, Madondo says that Fassie carried South Africans' souls with her, and wrote music which looked critically at issues which affected society.
She played inside our souls. That's why we connect so much with her music— Bongani Madondo, author and culture critic
Listen to the conversation below:
As the discussion on Fassie's legacy continued, #NightTalk listeners shared their memories of the indomitable MaBrrr:
Let me tell you something about Brenda. She was a brand and is still a brand. The influence that Brenda had as an artist was amazing. She was at an international level. At that time, there was no Twitter and everything to put her on an international platform, but she was international material— Joe in Emalahleni
I don't know where to start with Brenda. I'm not a groupie of anyone. I don't have a picture with any South African artist, but I have a picture with Brenda taken in 1993. She came to Turfloop at a Freshers' Ball when I was a student, and it was the first time my friends saw me completely losing it, because Brenda was there.— Clayson Monyela
I've listened to Brenda Fassie all over the world. I've driven from Addis Ababa to Asmara land, and I've slept in some town in the middle of nowhere just before you get to Lalibela, and guess what's playing in some dingy club, Brenda Fassie— Tshepo in Bryanston