​Helen Nontando Jabavu

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) will celebrate the centenary of Mam'Helen Nontando "Noni" Jabavu as part of Women's Month and hold Social Dialogue session on the 20th of August 2019 in Middledrift.

The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness about the work and legacy left by "Noni" in the literature field. Little is known about this extraordinary woman; whose autobiographies opened the door to several black South African women. 

Helen Nontando "Noni" Jabavu was born of a well-known writer Professor D.D.T. Jabavu on the 20th August 1919 in Anshaw, Middledrift, South Africa. She studied in Britain at the age of thirteen and in 1961 she made history by being the first woman and a black person to become an editor of a literacy magazine, "The New Strand". She also became the first black Southern African Woman to publish autobiography.

She published books, "Draw in Colour" and "The Orcher People: Scenes from South African Life". In her remarkable and illustrative career, she studied music, she was a prolific writer and radio personality for British Broadcasting Corporation. She also worked as a film technician, semi-skilled engineer and oxyacetylene welder during the Second World War in England.

In 2002 a documentary on the life and times of Noni Jabavu was produced as a fitting tribute to her legacy. An impressive array of well-deserved awards in honour and recognition of Noni's contribution to humanity were given by among others the late former Premier of the Eastern Cape, Honourable Rev Makhenkesi Stofile. She was also honoured as the best female Author and Writer in the Eastern Cape by Mrs Nosimo Balindlela. In 2006 she was honoured with a Literacy Award by the National Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture, Dr Pallo Jordaan.

Members of the media are invited to attend the event as follows:

Date: 20 August 2019

Time: 10H00

Venue: Community Hall, Middledrift


For RSVP, contact:

Mr Sivuyile Ngaba

Cell: 071 403 5294

Email: Sivuyile.Ngaba@ecsrac.gov.za


For media queries, contact:


Mr Andile Nduna

Cell: 071 411 4820

Email: Andile.Nduna@ecsrac.gov.za

Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Eastern Cape
No. 5 Eales Street,
King William's Town,
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