Miriam Makeba, RIP

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Human Interest, News

Published on November 10, 2008 with No Comments

By Neda Ulaby

November 10, 2008

Grammy award-winning South African singer Miriam Makeba has died. The great-grandmother — known affectionately as “Mama Africa” — reportedly suffered a heart attack after performing at an anti-mafia concert Sunday in southern Italy. She was 76.

Miriam Zenzile Makeba embodied the pan-Africanist spirit of the 1960s when she burst onto the international stage and unwittingly became the voice and symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

On tour in the U.S., Makeba had her passport revoked and was banned from returning home after she was featured in a documentary that criticized apartheid. Makeba was just 27 at the time and wouldn’t see South Africa again for more than 30 years, she told NPR in an interview in 2006.

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