Miriam Makeba

1932 - 2008

Photo of Miriam Makeba

Icon of person Miriam Makeba

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. Born in Johannesburg to Swazi and Xhosa parents, Makeba was forced to find employment as a child after the death of her father. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Miriam Makeba has received more than 1,989,859 page views. Her biography is available in 70 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 66 in 2019). Miriam Makeba is the 76th most popular singer (down from 69th in 2019), the 12th most popular biography from South Africa (down from 10th in 2019) and the most popular South African Singer.

Miriam Makeba is most famous for being a singer and songwriter. She was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in a township. She became a singer in the 1950s and eventually left her country to live in the United States. She became an international sensation in the 1960s with a song called "Pata Pata."

Memorability Metrics

  • 2.0M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 73.90

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 70

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 5.49

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.79

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Miriam Makebas by language


Among singers, Miriam Makeba ranks 76 out of 3,541Before her are Billie Holiday, Johnny Hallyday, Florence Foster Jenkins, Karel Gott, Bonnie Tyler, and Fairuz. After her are Amália Rodrigues, Steven Tyler, Nancy Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Domenico Modugno, and Robert Plant.

Most Popular Singers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1932, Miriam Makeba ranks 27Before her are Fernando Botero, Little Richard, Sylvia Plath, Víctor Jara, Roy Scheider, and Camilo Cienfuegos. After her are Ted Kennedy, Michel Legrand, Roh Tae-woo, François Englert, Ellen Burstyn, and Oliver E. Williamson. Among people deceased in 2008, Miriam Makeba ranks 20Before her are Jørn Utzon, Sydney Pollack, Harold Pinter, Roy Scheider, Richard Widmark, and Richard Wright. After her are Alain Robbe-Grillet, Yma Sumac, Heath Ledger, Edward Norton Lorenz, Jules Dassin, and Jacques Piccard.

Others Born in 1932

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 2008

Go to all Rankings

In South Africa

Among people born in South Africa, Miriam Makeba ranks 12 out of 312Before her are Nadine Gordimer (1923), Behati Prinsloo (1988), Elon Musk (1971), F. W. de Klerk (1936), Christiaan Barnard (1922), and Desmond Tutu (1931). After her are Charlize Theron (1975), Paul Kruger (1825), Thabo Mbeki (1942), Jacob Zuma (1942), P. W. Botha (1916), and Max Theiler (1899).

Among SINGERS In South Africa

Among singers born in South Africa, Miriam Makeba ranks 1After her are Dave Matthews (1967), Yolandi Visser (1984), Brenda Fassie (1964), ZP Theart (1975), Shaun Morgan (1978), and Theuns Jordaan (1971).