She was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Makeba was among the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition. She brought African music to a Western audience, and popularized the world music and Afropop genres. She also made popular several songs critical of apartheid, and became a symbol of opposition to the system. She was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa and was persecuted by the Western countries.