Miriam Makeba

Singer, political activist, philanthropist, mother, “Mama Africa” — Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) was all of the above. She was born in Prospect, a black township outside of Johannesburg, South Africa to a Swazi mother and Xhosa father during a time of severe economic depression when apartheid still had a tight hold on the country. Just eighteen…

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor is a film and theater actor, born in London, England on July 10th, 1977. His parents, mother Obi and father Arinze, were both native-born Nigerians who moved to London in the late 1960s (Joshi). Ejiofor’s feature film debut was Steve Spielberg’s Amistad, which premiered in 1997. His commendations for acting are numerous, receiving Best Actor…

Léopold Sédar Senghor

Léopold Sédar Senghor was a poet, writer, politician and the first president of The Republic of Sénégal. He was born on 9 October, 1906 in Joal-Fadiouth, Sénégal. His father, Basile Digoye Senghor, was a successful peanut merchant and exporter, and his mother was Roman Catholic. Senghor was a minority in Sénégal coming from the small…

El Anatsui

El Anatsui is a highly acclaimed African artist whose work has been featured worldwide in a variety of international exhibitions. Working mostly within the realm of sculpture and installation, Anatsui uses an assortment of simple materials such as bottle caps and aluminum to create large scale works. The work itself serves as a “metaphor for…

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal (a province in South Africa), in 1931 and attended Johannesburg Bantu High School. In 1954, he earned his degree from the University of South Africa and then spent three years teaching at a high school level (“Desmond Tutu- Biographical”). However, due to the Bantu Education Act in 1953,…

Liyou Libsekal

BadilishaPoetry.com Known for her incredibly powerful poetry and social activism, Liyou Libsekal has made a profound impact on people through her inclusive writing. Libsekal is a contemporary African poet who spent her early years traveling around East Africa with her family, before moving to the states to attend George Washington University. This period in her…

Puleng Seglado

Doctor Puleng Seglado is a psychologist from South Africa. In 2004 she earned her Masters degree from the University of South Africa. Then in 2008 she received a Fulbright Fellowship which allowed her to come to America and attend the Graduate Center, City University of New York. There, she earned her PhD in social and…

Robert Mugabe

  Robert Mugabe’s story begins with him being a hero; but ends with him as a villain. His name remains infamous amongst the world, especially within the continent of Africa. He was one of Africa’s longest ruling leaders and was one of the main people who helped Zimbabwe gain its independence; yet many say his…

Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Yvonne Chaka Chaka is a well-known South African singer-songwriter, humanitarian and entrepreneur. She was born as Yvonne Machaka on the 18th of March 1965 in Dobsonville, Soweto. Her early childhood seemed to be rather challenging since she was born into a family that was struck by poverty and when she was 11 years old her…

Antjie Krog

On October 23rd, 1952 Antjie Krog was born on a farm in the Free State of South Africa to a family of writers. (SA History, 2017) As a young girl, she attended primary and secondary school near her home, worked on the farm, and of course was a writer. In 1970, at the height of…

Nelson Agholor

Nelson Agholor was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1993. He moved to the United States at age five where he would go on to play football at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida. From there, he committed to play football at USC. After just three seasons with USC he had proven that he was worthy of playing in…

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is an incredible woman. She was born on October 29, 1938 in Monrovia Liberia. She attended secondary school at the College of West Africa. At the age of 17 she married James Sirleaf. This decision resulted in temporarily halting her education because they had four children together rather quickly. She had…