Charlotte Maxeke was a supremely brave woman, and the founder of the Bantu Women’s League of South Africa, which later became the ANC Women's League. We celebrate Charlotte on this day, 7 April, when she was born.
Charlotte Maxeke is remembered as a politician and fighter for women's rights, and her name will be forever penned down with those who fought for a better life for South Africans.
Charlotte fiercely fought and never gave up, and it was on this day, 7 April 1847, that the iconic woman was born.
Thanks to her, the Bantu Women’s League of South Africa was founded, which eventually became today's ANC Women's League.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at who this extraordinary woman was.
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Charlotte was born in Fort Beaufort in Cape Town, and her musical talents showed from a young age. Her parents moved to Kimberley and here she completed secondary school and took part in musical activities.
According to sahistory.org.za, she joined a choir and even travelled through Europe, sharing her musical talents.
Charlotte got to perform for the Queen of England at the 1897 Jubilee at the London Royal Albert Hall - it was a proud moment for black South Africans.
By means of a church scholarship, Charlotte was able to travel to America, and she worked hard to earn her doctorate in Arts and Humanities.
It was during her time in the US that she met Marshall Maxeke, who would become her husband.
When she returned to South Africa, Charlotte took an interest in politics, as well as teaching.
After getting involved with the African National Congress and their activities, she co-founded the Bantu Women’s League of South Africa, which later became the ANC Women’s League.
On 16 October 1939, Charlotte sadly passed away, but her legacy will forever live on.
To honour her part in the fight for freedom, Johannesburg Hospital was renamed the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
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