Makeba, Miriam(məkā`bə), 1932–2008, South African singer. She became the first black South African to achieve international fame and she played a fundamental role in introducing African musicAfrican music,
the music of the indigenous peoples of Africa. Sub-Saharan African music has as its distinguishing feature a rhythmic complexity common to no other region.
..... Click the link for more information. to the West. Exiled from South Africa in the early 1960s because of her outspoken political views, she settled in the United States, where she was celebrated both as a performer and as a symbol of opposition to apartheidapartheid
[Afrik.,=apartness], system of racial segregation peculiar to the Republic of South Africa, the legal basis of which was largely repealed in 1991–92. History
..... Click the link for more information. . South African music formed the heart of her large and varied repertoire during a career that began in the 1950s and spanned five decades. Her 1960s hits included "The Click Song" in her native Xhosa language and the dance tune "Pata Pata". Makeba's first husband was Hugh MasekelaMasekela, Hugh
, 1939–2018, South African singer, composer, band leader, and trumpet player. After working with several South African jazz bands, he and his then-wife Miriam Makeba fled South Africa in the early 1960s because of apartheid.
..... Click the link for more information. . Following her marriage to the black militant leader Stokely CarmichaelCarmichael, Stokely,
1941–98, African-American social activist, b. Trinidad. He lived in New York City from 1952 and graduated from Howard Univ. in 1964. Carmichael participated in the Congress of Racial Equality's "freedom rides" in 1961, and by 1964 was a field organizer
..... Click the link for more information. , she was declared unwelcome by the U.S. government and moved to Guinea (1969–84). She returned to her homeland after Nelson MandelaMandela, Nelson Rolihlahla
, 1918–2013, South African statesman. He earned a degree (B.A., 1943) after being expelled from the University College of Fort Hare (for taking part in a student protest) and finishing his studies with the Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. was released from prison in 1990.
See her autobiography (1988); Makeba: The Miriam Makeba Story (interviews, 2004).