Women’s Month

Celebrating women in history and those making history.

Lillian Masediba Matabane Ngoyi “Mma Ngoyi”, (25 September 1911 – 13 March 1980), was a South African anti-apartheid activist.

She was the first woman elected to the executive committee of the African National Congress, and helped launch the Federation of South African Women.

Prior to becoming a machinist at a textile mill, where she employed from 1945 to 1956, Ngoyi enrolled to become a nurse.

On 9 August 1956, Ngoyi led a women’s march along with Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, Motlalepula Chabaku, Bertha Gxowa and Albertina Sisulu of 20,000 women to the Union Buildings of Pretoria in protest against the apartheid government requiring women to carry passbooks as part of the pass laws.

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