Women’s Day: Let Our Ancestors Speak

Generations of women have contributed and are still contributing to making all lives righteous and equal. Therefore, on this Women’s Day, observed 9 August 2021, a generation of women will be speaking to us as part of a global campaign covering the theme, Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future

As we take up the challenge and opportunities to further our journey towards equality, let us remember Charlotte Maxeke’s accomplishments. This year we are celebrating Maxeke’s 150 years since birth and the 120 years since she became the first black South African woman to obtain a higher education qualification. Her accomplishments were groundbreaking, considering that she was not allowed to obtain a qualification in her home country. She was also the first black South African female to acquire a bursary opportunity from Wilberforce University, Ohio USA to obtain her BSc degree. She was a remarkable woman, a woman of many firsts, not only on home ground but also abroad. Read more about her in Zubeida Jaffer’s, The life and times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke (2016). 

Because of her achievements, later generations of black women were able to study and obtain bursary opportunities, which was first limited according to apartheid designated institutions. Now we have access to all higher education institutions to follow any course of study, especially at Stellenbosch University. We celebrate strides made by our ancestral role models, realising that the young women of South Africa still need support to reach their potential. The Russel Botman Bursary Fund grants such young women these opportunities. Be part of that global campaign and donate to the fund to sustain such support.