Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, also known as Mama Africa, was a South African singer and activist who became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid. Born on March 4, 1932, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Makeba’s career spanned over five decades and she was one of the most prominent African performers in the world.

Makeba’s musical talent was evident from a young age, and she began her professional career in the 1950s as a member of the Manhattan Brothers, one of South Africa’s first black vocal groups. She later joined the Skylarks, another popular group, and it was during this time that she gained recognition for her powerful and soulful voice. In 1959, Makeba’s life took a dramatic turn when she was invited to perform in the United States. It was during this trip that she met and married the Trinidadian civil rights activist and Black Panther, Stokely Carmichael. This marriage led to her being exiled from South Africa, as the government revoked her citizenship and banned her music.

Despite facing numerous challenges, Makeba continued to use her music as a platform to raise awareness about the injustices of apartheid. She performed at numerous anti-apartheid concerts and used her international fame to advocate for the end of racial segregation in her home country. In addition to her music career, Makeba was also a passionate activist for human rights and social justice. She spoke out against apartheid at the United Nations and became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, using her platform to advocate for peace and equality around the world.

Makeba’s impact on the music industry and the fight against apartheid cannot be overstated. She was a trailblazer for African musicians and her influence can still be felt today. Her legacy continues to inspire artists and activists alike, and her music remains a powerful reminder of the resilience and strength of the human spirit. Miriam Makeba passed away on November 9, 2008, but her legacy lives on through her music and her tireless advocacy for justice and equality. She will always be remembered as a true icon of African music and a fearless champion for human rights.

Related posts

James Earl Jones


Sarah Vaughan


J. Rosamond Johnson (John Rosamond), 1873-1954

joe bodego

Toots and the Maytals