Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora has been honoured especially within Cape Verde but also further afield. She was internationally famous for singing Morna, which is usually considered to be Cape Verde’s national music. Ms Évora was a recording artist and a Grammy Award winner, and was considered to have a particularly beautiful singing voice. Creole-Portuguese is the language of Cape Verde and that is the language in which Cesária sang. The language was, however, never a barrier to people from outside of the country.
Cesária Évora died in 2011, and since then a number of artists have recorded songs in tribute to her. In Cape Verde and in some countries in in Europe, such as France, roads have been named after her. Also in France, a college in Montreuil (Île de Paris) was named after her in 2014. Also a stamp was issued in remembrance of her concert at the Bataclan in 1995, combined with remembering the tragic events at that concert hall in 2015.
The Banco de Cabo Verde included Cesária Évora’s face on a new 2000 Escudo bank note in 2014. The airport on the island of Säo Vicente was renamed the Cesária Évora Airport in march 2012. There is also a stature of Évora at the entrance to the airport terminal.
The African country of Guinea-Bissau also issued stamps featuring her together with an image of her grammy award. Èvora won the Grammy for her album ‘Voz d’Amor’.
As if all that wasn’t honour enough, a sea slug found in the northeast corner of the island of Sal has been named Aegires evorae. Also a butterfly found on the island of Santo Antäo has been named Chilades evorae.
Cesária Évora can certainly be considered to have put Africa, and Cape Verde in particular, on the international musical map. These honours to her indicate the esteem in which she is held both at home and in the wider world. A big voice and a big name from a small country.