THE 1960s hit song Pata Pata by the South Africa anti-apartheid artist Miriam Makeba has been re-released with new lyrics aimed at beating the spread of coronavirus.
Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo, who was mentored by Makeba, sings the new version with words that encourage hand-washing and keeping a safe distance.
“Pata” means “light touch” in Xhosa. Some of the new lines include:
"It's a time to ‘sit it out’. This is ‘no-pata-pata’... Stay at home and wait it out.
"We need to keep our hands clean.
"So ‘no-pata pata’... Don’t touch your face, keep distance please."
The UN children's agency, which organised the release, says it will be played across Africa.
Unicef quotes Kidjo as saying:
"Pata Pata has always been there for people at a time of struggle. I hope it helps once more.
"And I hope from our confined spaces we can dance once more"
Pata Pata was once called the world's most defiantly joyful song.
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Makeba, who died in 2008 at the age of 76, sang many political songs against the apartheid regime, and saw Pata Pata as lightweight in comparison.