Jain – Makeba Lyrics Explained & Song Meaning

Today, we’re exploring the meaning behind Jain’s Makeba song, one of the catchiest songs you can start your day with. Or listen to it whenever, it’s just as infectious.

But what to the lyrics of Makeba really mean and what does Jain try to tell us? Although it’s the chorus that is the main thing here, the short verses contribute to the overall meaning of the song and we’re going to talk about them all in today’s article.

Jain – Makeba Music Video

While reading, you can play the video below to have the song as background music. Or just enjoy it once more before jumping into all the explanations.


Born in Toulouse, France, then growing up in Dubai, Congo, and eventually Paris, Jain’s diverse upbringing has molded her into a distinctive artist, effortlessly blending various styles and genres of music.

And if you want to learn more about other important songs, make sure to check out the previous article talking about the Iggy Azalea – Fancy ft Charli XCX song meaning.

Jain – Makeba Song Meaning & Lyrics Explained

Among Jain’s notable works is the track “Makeba,” which is named after Miriam Makeba, a South African singer and civil rights activist.

It’s a tribute to Makeba, popularly known as Mama Africa, who utilized her voice to address issues plaguing her nation and people.

So even though this masterpiece of a song was once known as the “ooh wee TikTok song,” as you can see, there is a lot more to it.

Understanding the “Makeba” Lyrics

The lyrics of “Makeba” are a homage to Miriam Makeba’s life and her battle against apartheid.

However, the song isn’t just a tribute; it’s more conspicuous for its underlying message of unity, racial harmony and empowerment.

“Makeba” encapsulates the trials and tribulations Makeba faced, and the chorus exclaims, “Makeba, makes my body dance for you,” reflecting the way her music moves people.

Miriam used her music to shed light on injustice, a philosophy of engagement that Jain reverently echoes in her own work, including within ‘Makeba.’

In her unique hybrid musical style, she reflects the diversity of her influences and uses it to captivate and engage her audience.

The continual repetition of “Makeba, Makeba, ma – que – bella,” is significant. Makeba is a homage to Miriam Makeba, as previously stated, and “ma – que – bella,” which loosely translates to “how beautiful” in Spanish, could possibly serve as celebratory remark to Makeba’s life, struggle and her beauty as a person.

The song is particularly significant due to its political underpinnings and roots in Afro-pop culture, wrapped around with Jain’s infectious dance beats and vibrant visuals.

Makeba is presented as a metaphor for strength, resilience, and the activist spirit.

It’s conveyed that women, like Makeba, have the power to resist inequality and incite change, make a difference just like Makeba did during her lifetime.

The song serves as a refreshing bridge between traditional African sounds and modern pop music.

If you want to read more about other important songs, make sure to check ouy my article explaining the lyrical meaning of Shawn Mendes’– There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.

Criticism and Praise for ‘Makeba’

Upon its release, ‘Makeba’ received considerable praise from critics for its infectious beats and topical lyrics.

However, some critics pointed out that despite its commendable objective, the song might be viewed as cultural appropriation rather than cultural celebration.

Regardless of such debates, there is no denying the impact of ‘Makeba’ – it helped stretch the boundaries of what is perceived as mainstream music and established Jain as a potent voice in the global music scene.

Final words

We can see that ‘Makeba’ by Jain is a compelling blend of infectious, upbeat music paired with meaningful, thought-provoking lyrics.

This song simultaneously pays homage to a significant figure and aspires to inspire activism, skillfully weaving a narrative of social justice into the texture of its lively melody.

The song is also not only about lyrics but also about rhythm and beats, as an essential part of African music is rhythm; this reflects respect towards these traditions.

If you have additional comments to make regarding the meaning of this song, don’t hesitate to share your opinions in the comments section below.

Or simply head over to a brand new article and read about the meaning of the lyrics of Notorious BIG’s Big Poppa song.

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