Miriam Makeba: Feminist, Activist, Musician

Zensi Miriam Makeba, also known as “Mama Africa”, is famous for her music, but more importantly, for using her platform to protest South African apartheid. Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932, during a time of economic depression. Right after her birth, her mother, Christina Makeba, a Swazi sangoma (healer), was imprisoned for illegally brewing…

Winnie Mandela

Winnie Winnie Mandela is an image of the progress South Africa has made in the journey to justice. Often referred to as the “Mother of the Nation,” Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was born in 1936 in the Transkei region, Eastern Cape Province, of South Africa (Mintz). She was born in 1945 into a large family…

Akon

Akon or also known as Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, is a well know singer, songwriter and producer in the R&B music world. Akon was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 16, 1973 to African born parents. He and his family moved from the United States to Dakar, Senegal, West Africa while Akon was still a small…

The Nigerian Bobsled Team

(Featured Image from shoppeblack.us) It Takes Three to Make a Thing Go Right Three women, all with the same vision, set out to make history. As former track stars, they were perfect for the sport of bobsledding. Once they came together to form the Nigerian bobsled team, they immediately made an impact on the world….

Dambudzo Marechera

  Dambudzo Marechera was an important Zimbabwean novelist, short story writer, poet and playwright during the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Tragically full of anarchy and self-destruction, Marechera’s life and literature displayed the conflict between Western and African culture in the wake of colonialism. Charles William Dambudzo Marechera was born on June 4, 1952 in Rusape, Rhodesia…

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe was born Albert Chinualumongu Achebe on November 16, 1930 in Odigi, Anambra, Nigeria. He was the fifth out of six children and his family belonged to the Igbo tribe (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Although his family practiced the traditional Igbo religion, his parents, Isaiah Okafor Achebe and Janet Ileogbunam, were eventually convinced by…

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is an extremely well known activist, revolutionary, and past President of South Africa. His works helped dissolve apartheid in South Africa, as well as starting national reconciliation racially. Mandela joined the movement against apartheid in his twenties which segwayed into his joining of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1942. Nelson Mandela was…

Haile Selassie

Emperor Haile Selassie was an interesting and powerful statesman of Ethiopia. The last in a line of 255 kings, Haile Selassie’s reign was marked by both blessings and curses for the people he ruled, with the detachment of his rule in later years being the death knell for Ethiopia’s monarchy (Colonialism: An International Social, Cultural, and Political…

Haile Selassie

On July 23, 1892, Lij Tafari Makonnen was born to Ras Makonnen Woldemikel and Yeshimebet Ali, in Harar, an Ethiopian province. As he grew up, Tafari and his cousin received education and instruction from an Ethiopian Orthodox monk named Wolde Kahin. Tafari’s father died shortly after his instatement as Dejazmach (literally: commander of the gate) of Ethiopia….

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan was born in 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana.  He is a part of a rather prominent family of the Ghanaian Aristocracy and is also the grandson and nephew of three tribal chieftains.  In his early to mid-teens, he attended several schools until finally settling on the Methodist boarding school of Mfantsipim, it was here…

Shaka, Zulu

  Born to be King Shaka Zulu was born to an insignificant king of an insignificant clan, the Zulu. Little is known for certain about him, and his whole history is shrouded in conspiracy, but here is what I have been able to glean from the meager sources out there. Yet, what we do know…

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah was born on February 20, 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa (Walker). At the time of his birth, Apartheid was still a looming social issue in the country. Trevor, was the son of a black mother and white father, forced to live in the shadows for a large part of his childhood due to the…