Authors birthdays: June

Nnoseng Ellen Kate Kuzwayo (29 June 1914 – 19 April 2006) was a women’s rights activist and politician in South Africa. She was president of the African National Congress Youth League in the 1960s. In 1994 she was elected to the first post-apartheid South African Parliament. Her autobiography, Call Me Woman (1985), won the CNA Prize.

Kuzwayo came from an educated, political family. Her maternal grandfather, Jeremaiah Makgothi, was taken by his mother from the Orange Free State to the Cape to attend the Lovedale Institute, circa 1875. He qualified as a teacher and also worked as a court interpreter and a Methodist lay preacher. Makgothi was the only layman to work with Robert Moffat on the translation of the Bible into Setswana.

Both Makgothi and Kuzwayo’s father, PS Mefare, were political. Makgothi was secretary of the Orange Free State branch of the South African Native National Congress, Mefare a member of its successor, the African National Congress. A South African marine research ship was named after her.

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Among great novels Ellen wrote is African Wisdom:

The book provides a unique insight into folkloric African wisdom by analyzing and offering anecdotal usage of Setswana proverbs. The author recounts tales from her rural youth and explains her philosophy on the healing power of proverbs. Also contained are a selection of Setswana proverbs, each with a literal English translation and an explanation of its meaning. The subjects addressed include the individual, the society, and the family.

  • Adelaide Casely-Hayford, née Smith – 27 June 1868—died 16 January 1960
  • Lucille Clifton – 27 June 1936 –died 13 February 2010
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar – 27 June 1872 – died 9 February 1906
  • Syl Cheney-Coker – 28 June 1945
  • Dennis Chukude Osadebay – 29 June 1911—died 26 December 1994
  • Stokely Carmichael – 29 June 1941 –died 15 November 1998
  • Chester Bomar Himes – 29 July 1909 –died 12 November 1984
  • Ellen Kuzwayo – 29 June 1914 – died 19 April 2006
  • Thomas Sowell – 30 June 1930
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