Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and civil rights activist, often lovingly referred to as "Mama Africa." Like her friend and sometime collaborator Harry Belafonte, she was both pop and "exotic" and thus helped garner interest amongst non-African audiences in African music.
Zensi Miriam Makeba was born 4 March 1932 in Prospect Township, Johannesburg, South Africa. Her mother was a Swazi sangoma and her father, who died when she was six, was Xhosa. The year she was born, she spent six months imprisoned with her mother. She later attended school at the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria, were she sang with a touring school group. She went professional in 1953, when she joined The Manhattan... Read More