Miriam Makeba: from Domestic Servant to Mama Africa

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If alive today, Miriam Makeba would be turning 81, in case you missed the tribute paid to her through this week’s Google Doodle. The  South African singer is considered the voice of World Music. During the 60s she had her South African passport cancelled and was prevented from returning home following her overseas travels. It was only after Nelson Mandella’s release in the 90s, that she was able to come back to South Africa. During her exile, she used her work to campaign against the Apartheid regime.

Makeba, who was also Known as “Mama Africa”,  was the first black South African musician to gain international fame. A former domestic servant, she started singing in her school “choir” and was heavily influenced by the works of Ella Fitzgerald. In her songs, she mixed jazz with traditional African sounds and included her Xhosa language.

Miriam Makeba’s Official Links

www.miriammakeba.co.za

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