Skip to main content

Makeba, Miriam (1932–)

Makeba, Miriam (1932–)

South African Xosa singer and activist. Born Zenzile Makeba, Mar 4, 1932, in Prospect, South Africa; attended Kimerton Training Institute in Pretoria; m. James Kubay; m. singer Sonny Pillay (div.); m. Hugh Masekela (trumpeter and bandleader), 1964 (div. 1968); m. Stokely Carmichael (Black Panther activist), 1968 (div.); m. Bageot Bah (airline executive, div.); children: (1st m.) daughter Bongi (died at 35).

One of Africa's greatest vocalists, began career as domestic worker in Johannesburg; toured South Africa, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Belgian Congo (Republic of Congo) with Black Mountain Brothers (1954–57); starred in semi-documentary Come Back Africa, about apartheid (1959); decided not to return to Africa while attending the film's premiere at Venice Film Festival (1959); had passport invalidated by South African government, making a return impossible; obtained permission to enter US (1959); put African music on international map (1960s); performed at birthday celebration for President John F. Kennedy (1963); saw her recordings banned in South Africa (1963) and career harmed by marriage to Black Panther activist, Stokely Carmichael (1968); moved with husband to Guinea, West Africa, and continued to perform on international circuit; served as UN delegate from Guinea; won Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize for work against apartheid (1986); after living in exile for 30 years, was welcomed back to her homeland in the post-apartheid era; appeared with Paul Simon on his Graceland tour (1987); released CD Homeland for Putumayo records (2000).

See also autobiography (with James Hall) Makeba: My Story (New American Library, 1987); and Women in World History.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Makeba, Miriam (1932–)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. . 16 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Makeba, Miriam (1932–)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. . (July 16, 2019).

"Makeba, Miriam (1932–)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. . Retrieved July 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.