Google today marked what would have been songstress Miriam Makeba’s 81st birthday in the way it does best: with a doodle.
Nicknamed Mama Africa, Makeba was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist. She was born in Johannesburg in 1932 and rose to prominence in the late 1950s with the single “Pata Pata“.
After she had a short guest appearance in Come Back, Africa, an anti-apartheid documentary produced and directed by American independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin, Makeba had her South African passport revoked.
In 1963, after testifying against apartheid before the United Nations, her South African citizenship and her right to return to the country were revoked. The world came to her aid however with Guinea, Belgium and Ghana issuing her passports.
Shortly after his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela persuaded Makeba to return to South Africa. Makeba continued to record and do charity work throughout the 1990s and 2000s until her death in 2008.