Clare Zarka - Block 4
The Mother of the Black Resistance
Life and Accomplishments:1911-1980
Lilian Ngoyi distinguished herself as a truly courageous individual, and woman, during the anti-apartheid movement. She joined the ANC during the Defiance Campaign in 1950, and was quickly arrested for using whites-only public amenities. Within a year, she was elected president of the Women's League. In 1954, she was the vice-president of the newly formed Federation of South African Women, and would soon become president. Ngoyi traveled, illegally, to the World Congress of Mothers in 1955 and spoke for the Women's International Democratic Federation. She also traveled across the globe, to England, China, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, and Russia, appealing for support in ending apartheid. In 1956, she led a march against the extension of passbooks to non-white women. Ngoyi herself delivered thousands of women's petitions to the Prime Minister. This was one of the largest demonstrations South Africa has ever seen. But because of this, Ngoyi became a defendant in the infamous Treason Trial. In 1962, due to her extensive travels, Ngoyi was ordered to stay in Orlando with constant police monitoring. She could not meet with more than one person at a time, and lived in this way until her death. Following her death, Lilian Ngoyi was awarded the highest achievement of the liberation movement, Isitwalandwe,.
"God will help us only if we help ourselves."
Significance and Importance
"All women would die for the future of their children."
Nkosi sikelel' Afrika
17 April 1954 Johannesburg,
Preamble: We, the women of South Africa, wives and mothers, working women and housewives, African, Indians, European and Coloured, hereby declare our aim of striving for the removal of all laws, regulations, conventions and customs that discriminate against us as women, and that deprive us in any way of our inherent right to the advantages, responsibilities and opportunities that society offers to any one section of the population.
This was drafted by the Federation of South African Women with Ngoyi as the vice president. It is interesting to note that this was drafted before the Freedom Charter, and many of the ideas presented are strikingly similar.
"Lilian Masediba Ngoyi." Sahistory. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
Wyk, Chris. Lilian Ngoyi. Gallo Manor, South Africa: Awareness Pub., 2006. Print.