The National Council of African Women (NCAW) in Limpopo is gearing up for the second annual Charlotte Maxeke memorial lecture scheduled for 19 April at Fusion Boutique Hotel.
The occasion will also serve as the official launch of Charlotte Maxeke Month which aims to encourage residents and formations to follow in her footsteps by helping those in need.
Maxeke was the first president of the African National Congress Women’s League founded in 1918 as the Bantu Women’s League. Born at Ramokgopa village in Botlokwa on 7 April 1874 she was an activist, one of the first black South African women to graduate and one of the first black South Africans to fight for freedom of African women from exploitative and social conditions.
She was also the first black woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 there she qualified as an educator.
NCAW spokesperson, Kentse Makgae indicated that the upcoming celebrations would be their way of commemorating and honouring Maxeke’s contribution to the country: “We also want people to remember her birthday and legacy.
We took a resolution to observe her birthday like that of Nelson Mandela as we will be launching Charlotte Maxeke Month. We encourage organisations and formations to do community work and run social programmes during her birth month.”
For more information about the planned celebrations contact Makgae on 082 200 5364 or Chuene on 072 637 8175 or organisation president, Deborah Mutuku on 062 476 4158.
Story and photo: ENDY SENYATSI