South African Government

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Sport, Arts and Culture launches Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, 30 Apr

29 Apr 2021

Members of the media are invited to the media launch of the “Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke”, as declared by Cabinet in March 2021. The launch will allow government to unveil its Programme of Action for 2021, as a way to memorialize this trailblazer and struggle icon. The media launch will be led by Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabiltiies, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu. 

uMama Charlotte Mannya Maxeke will become the second woman to be memorialized and honoured in this way since 2018 when struggle icon Albertina Sisulu was honoured. This, the 150th year since the birthday of uMama Charlotte Mannya Maxeke is an important year for South Africa as we recognise women of courage and fortitude who pursued the same cause as struggle icons like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, to name but a few. Charlotte Mannya Maxeke made an indelible impact on many areas, including education, faith and politics. 

uMama Maxeke was a woman of many “firsts”. She was the first black woman to graduate and obtain a BSc Degree in Southern Africa in 1901. She was also the first woman to participate in the Kings Court under King Sabata Dalindyebo of AbaThembu and they started a school under this Royal Family and for all her efforts, she was given a name Nogazo as a salutation of honour. She then established a school in Evaton, Gauteng in 1908 (Wilberforce Institute), having been inspired by her experience at Wilberforce in Ohio. History books attest that she was the only woman that attended the first African National Congress (ANC) conference in 1912 as well as the first President of Bantu Women’s League in 1918, which later became ANC Women’s League. 

All government departments and entities are expected to have memorialization activations that accord with the government’s 2021 declaration of “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke”. Civil Society is encouraged to do the same to honour this icon of South Africa’s past. Use the hashtag #YearofCharlotteMaxeke to share your activities.

Members of the media are invited as follows:
Date: Friday, 30 April 2021
Time: 08h30
Venue: Ronnie Mamoepa Press Room, Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Francis Baard Street, Hatfield, Pretoria 

NB: There will be a video link to Imbizo Media Centre, 120 Plein Street, Parliament, Cape Town.

Media Participation: Journalists may view the briefing via live streaming on the South African Government social media channels on the links below:


Cindy Ngozo

Media Enquiries:
Mr Madimetja Moleba - Department of Sport, Arts and Culture
Cell: 066 301 4675


Ms Ntosh Ntlokwana - Charlotte Mannya Maxeke Institute
Cell: 073 632 8969 

Event Category: