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Refusing to hide her sexuality and using her music to tell the devastating stories of how black people lived under the cruelty of apartheid, Brenda Fassie was an anti-apartheid activist – and artist – like no other.

The intimate documentary Brenda Fassie: Not A Bad Girl was filmed in 1997, at the height of Ma Brrr’s popularity, and at a time when the “New South Africa” had only just started taking shape. The film gives rare and valuable insight into the intimate details of the life of “The Queen of African Pop” both on and off the stage in her own words.

This was one year before her celebrated comeback with her 1998 album Memeza, which became the biggest-selling album in the country. Her fans and dear friends included Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, and when she was hospitalised in 2004, they were among the high-profile visitors to her sick bed. Her achievements and her influence are especially admirable considering that she was born the youngest of nine children in the township of Langa in the Western Cape.

Stream Brenda Fassie: Not A Bad Girl on Showmax today to be reminded of MaBrrr’s spirit, her antics and her legacy, which continues to live on in her music.

Start watching now »

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