#WCW: Women Who Slay / Culture

#WCW :Charlotte Maxeke

Charlotte Makgomo Mannya was born in Ramokgopa in the Polokwane (Pietersburg) District on April 7 1874. She received a missionary education at Edwards Memorial School in the Eastern Cape in the early 1880s. In 1885, after the discovery of diamonds, Maxeke moved to Kimberley with her family. While in Kimberley, she became a teacher.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1901, becoming the first black South African woman to receive a college degree. She and her husband returned to South Africa and founded the Wilberforce Institute.

Maxeke was also involved in multiracial movements. She addressed the Women’s Reform Club in Pretoria, which was an organization for the voting rights of women, and joined the Joint Council of Europeans and Bantus. Maxeke was also elected as president of the Women’s Missionary Society.


In 1928, she attended a conference in the USA and became increasingly concerned about the welfare of Africans. She set up an employment agency for Africans in Johannesburg and was the first Black woman to become a parole officer for juvenile delinquents.

Maxeke’s name has been given to the former “Johannesburg General Hospital” which is now known as the “Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital”. The South African Navy submarine SAS Charlotte Maxeke was named after her.

She passed away in Johannesburg in 1939.

Information sourced from http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/charlotte-n%C3%A9e-manye-maxeke

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