Today Google is celebrating Mamma Africa’s “Miriam Makeba’s” birthday internationally with the “Mariam Makeba” Google Doodle on what looks to be all their country specific search engine pages. To my knowledge this is the first time ever that Google have had an International Google Doodle for a South African.
Miriam Makeba or better known in South Africa as Mamma Africa was born today 81 years ago on the 4th of March 1932 in the Prospect Township in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is about 25Km away from the 3D Car Shows offices here in Johannesburg South Africa.
Mamma Africa (Miriam Makeba) was a Grammy Awards winning South African Singer, famous for her songs like “Pata Pata” which were first recorded in 1957 and released in the USA in 1967. Other songs which should be internationally recodnized by Miriam Makeba include songs like “The Click Song, Malaika, Africa and Khawuleza”.
Mariam Makeba passed away on the 9th of November in 2008 aged 76 in Castel Volturno in Italy and it was a sad day in South African History when Mariam Makeba passed on.
Mamma Africa where known to be an active civil rights activists and were a close friend to former South African President Nelson Mandela. Miriam Makeba was the first black African and South African woman to win a Grammy Award, which she shared with Harry Belafonte in 1965.
“She was the mother of our struggle and South Africa’s first lady of song. Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile, she.. richly deserved the title of Mama Afrika. Her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us. Even after she returned home she continued to use her name to make a difference by mentoring musicians and supporting struggling young women”. By Nelson Mandela on the Passing of Miriam Makeba.
Interesting Facts about Miriam Makeba
- Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg South Africa, and spend the first six months of her life in prison with her mother.
- In 1959 Miriam Makeba starred in the Jazz opera King Kong and in an anti-apartheid film produced by Harry Belafonte titled the Come Back Africa.
- In 1963 Miriam Makeba spoke and testified against apartheid in front of the United Nations as part of her struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
- She won the Grammy Award in 1966 and became the first black South Africa and African woman to have won the award.
- Miriam Makeba was banned from South Africa for her activism against apartheid and lived in Guinea, Brussels and the USA.
- In 1990 Miriam Makeba moved back to South Africa when Nelson Mandela asked her to return home.
- Miriam Makeba died in Caserta, Italy after performing at a concert, she suffered a severe heart attack and medical teams at the concert failed to revive her, she was 76 years old when she died.
- Miriam Makeba spent most of her adult life in exile but never stopped loving her home country South Africa, of which she spoke about often she was buried in South Africa.