Miriam Makeba, Anti-Apartheid Singer, Celebrated With Google Doodle

Mar 04, 2013

On March 4, Google celebrated singer and activist Miriam Makeba's 81st birthday with a Google Doodle.

Makeba was born in South Africa in 1932 and lived through the rise and fall of apartheid, a system of legally enforced racial segregation that officially ended in the early 1990s. Makeba testified against apartheid at the United Nations in 1963 and the South African government revoked her citizenship.

Known as "Mama Africa," Makeba was considered by many to be a representative of South Africa and was globally minded, spreading the story of apartheid and South African culture throughout the world. She sang in many languages, including Swihili and Yiddish, and her two biggest hits "Pata Pata" and "The Click Song" are in the South African language Xhosa.

"Pata Pata"

Throughout her career she traveled the world singing and speaking out about apartheid, winning a Grammy with Harry Belefonte in 1965. Eventually she was permitted to return to South Africa in 1990 after 30 years away. Makeba announced her retirement in 2005 and passed away while on her farewell tour.