Noni Jabavu: The 1st black SA woman to publish autobiographies

Noni Jabavu: The 1st black SA woman to publish autobiographies

- On 20 August, 1919, an iconic woman was born in Middledrift, Eastern Cape, into a family of intellectuals

- Noni Jabavu grew up to make history, she is one of the first African women to pursue a successful literary career

- Jabavu also became the first black woman in South Africa to publish autobiographies

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Today, 101 years ago, Noni Jabavu was born into a family of intellectuals in the Eastern Cape. Jabavu went on to become an iconic woman in African literary.

In honour of her birthday, decided to take a look at her life and career. Her parents' marriage unified two of the most prominent Christian families in the Eastern Cape at the time.

Her father, Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu, was an activist and author and Jabavu's mom, Thandiswa Florence Makiwane, founded the Zenzele Woman's Self-Improvement Association.

According to Wikipedia, Jabavu's grandfather, John Tengo Jabavu, was an editor for Imvo Zabantsundu (Black Opinion) - the country's first newspaper to be written in Xhosa.

Her impressive family did not end there. Jabavu's aunt, Cecilia Makiwane, was the first African registered professional nurse in South Africa.

Noni Jabavu: The 1st black SA woman to publish autobiographies

Writer, broadcaster and editor of the magazine 'New Strand', Noni Jabavu at her London office, 12th September 1961. Photo: Keystone.
Source: Getty Images

Jabavu was a well educated young woman. When she turned 13, she was sent to England to study. She lived in the UK for several years.

READ ALSO: Johannesburg boys' school goes viral after singing Thina Siyazalana

Noni Jabavu: The 1st black SA woman to publish autobiographies

South African writer and journalist, Noni Jabavu pictured standing on The Strand in London in 1961. Photo: Rolls Press.
Source: Getty Images

Jabavu grew up to became a historic woman. Despite facing disadvantages because of the previous regime, she became one of the first African women to make a success of herself as a writer.

She is also the first black South African woman to publish autobiographies. Her first book, Drawn in Color, was published six decades ago this year.

South Africans were inspired by the woman who paved the way for females to follow her.

Jayshree Pillaye, who goes by the Twitter handle @shessite, commented:

"Another black pioneer not included in our education. Would have made and will make an excellent role model. Thank you for sharing."

In other news, reported on another inspiring lady. Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu is proving that women can succeed in industries dominated by men.

Zungu is an engineer who decided to expand her house's structure. Instead of hiring a builder, the inspiring lady took on the physical work herself.

She shared photos of her handiwork on Facebook and captioned the post:

"This is what I am good at."

Another woman, Nompilo Majozi, then decided to share Zungu's story on the #ImStaying Facebook page.

She wrote:

"If this doesn't inspire you, then I don't know what will. Sis studied civil engineering at FET, now look what she's doing in her home. Her name is Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu...I'm so proud to be a woman!"

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