Charlotte Maxeke

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Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke (née Manye) (1871 or 1872 - 16 October 1939), a South African religious leader, social worker and political activist, was born probably at Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape. Her younger sister, Katie Makanya (née Manye) was born in Fort Beaufort on 28 July 1873.

Foreign travel[edit]

As young women, both Manye sisters were members of an African choir that toured England 1891 - 1893 and performed for Queen Victoria. In 1894 Charlotte Manye joined a choir that went on tour to Canada and the United States and was offered a scholarship to study at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. While at Wilberforce she met and later married Marshall Maxeke. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1905. She and her husband returned to South Africa and founded the Wilberforce Institute.

Political activism[edit]

Charlotte became active in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she played a part in bringing to South Africa. The church later elected her president of the Women's Missionary Society. By 1919 she was active in the anti-pass laws demonstrating which led her to found the Bantu Women's League which later became part of the African National Congress Women's League.[1]

Charlotte died at the age of 67 in Johannesburg.

Legacy[edit]

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[2]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  • Songs of Zion - The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa, James T. Campbell, 1995, Oxford University Press.