The Final Beat of A Heart of Care Beneath the Stars

Frieda Sthlm

Yesterday our world said goodbye to Frieda Darvel – friend, champion, singer, star, songwriter, revolutionary, dreamer, sister, daughter, lover and sojourner.

I just received the news of her passing, ironically, while visiting in the same country where I met her for the first time – Sweden.

I am stunned, shocked and at a loss to find words to explain what turmoil churns inside of everyone who knows her, loved her, was loved by her and inspired by her. Condolences are streaming in via social media in Sweden and Iceland – connections largely the consequence of the great and compassionate work of Felixfilm when highlighting her story in the documentary, Beneath the Stars. The documentary premiered in Stockholm in 2004.

Frieda was described by the media as a “street child” who had a golden voice – that complex combination of raw talent and degrading abode of squalor on the hostile streets of Cape Town. We wrote a song together in 2004 when Frieda was in Stockholm. Called, “A Heart of Care”, the song drips of deep appreciation for a teacher who made a difference in her life – most of all, a teacher who accepted her.

Somehow, to be quite frank, upon hearing the news, I find my soul numbed and a pain in my bosom just sits there – heavy and unrelenting. I am drenched with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness over the enormity of the unfinished work in the lives of many other Friedas – in South Africa and in this world.

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