Miriam Makeba

On November 9, 2008, Zenzile Miriam Makeba died aged 76. She was singer, songwriter, actress, civil rights activist, and United Nations goodwill ambassador, nicknamed Mama Africa. She was the first African woman to win a “Grammy Award” (for “Best Folk Recording” in 1966 with Harry Belafonte for “An Evening with Belafonte and Makeba”). Makeba popularized African music among Western audience. Few of her popular songs were critical of apartheid, making her a symbol of opposition to the apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. Upon her death, former Nelson Mandela said “her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.”

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