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Sat, 10.27.1917

Winnie Kgware, Teacher and Activist born.

Winnie Kgware

*Winnie Kgware was born on this date in 1917. She was a Black African teacher and anti-Apartheid activist. 

Winnie Motlalepula was born in Thaba Nchu in the Orange Free State of South Africa. Growing up, she encouraged youth to be active in political structures. Following her call, the youth formed a South African Student Movement branch and established a School Representative Council (SRC) at Hwiti High School. She recruited Peter Mokaba to join the underground movement. She assisted her political mentee with funds to study at university, where he enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology.

Winnie Monyatsi became a teacher and later married Professor WM Kgware, who was appointed the first black rector at the University of the North, where she then lived. With the campus being the heart of Black Conscious ideas, Kgware supported students in their protests against the Government's restrictions on campus. She launched the South African Students' Organization (SASO) in 1968, after its breakaway from the UCM due to discontent by black activists (including Steve Biko) with the UCM's all-white national executive committee.

1972, the Black People's Convention (BPC) held its first national conference.  At that conference, Winnie Kgware emerged as President of the BPC, an umbrella body of the Black Consciousness Movement, then led by Biko. One incident that stands out of Kgware's determination to render the Apartheid system ungovernable occurred in 1977 when the bus taking mourners to Steve Biko's funeral in Ginsberg, outside of King Williams Town, was stopped by security forces. Kgware, then 66 years old, evaded the police and hitched a lift to King Williams Town to attend Biko's funeral.

Some lesser-known women Kgware led and served within the Black Consciousness Movement include Mamphela Ramphele, Deborah Matshoba, Oshadi Mangena, and Nomsizi Kraai. After a long life of teaching and activist work, Kgware died in 1998 at home in Northwest- Bophuthatswana. 2003 President Thabo Mbeki conferred the Order of Luthuli to Winnie Kgware for outstanding leadership and lifelong commitment to democracy, non-racialism, peace, and justice.

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