|dc.description.abstract||This is a study of the life of Sibusisiwe Makanya and her work as an educator and
social worker in Umbumbulu, a peri urban area on the south coast of Natal. In this
construction of her life I have referred to the Makanya Papers, housed in the Killie
Camp bell Africana Library; the Rheinhallt Jones papers and the Bantu Youth
League papers, housed in the South African Institute of Race Relations papers at
the University of the Witwatersrand's Historical Papers Collection; the Forman
Collection at the University of Cape Town; and the papers of the Second Annual
Conference of the Zulu Society housed in the Natal Archives, Pietermaritzburg.
There are no direct kith or kin alive today who could be interviewed to provide
detailed perspectives about the life of Sibusisiwe. However, three people, who had
known her, have been interviewed for information that sheds more light on the life
and times in which she lived.
Sibusisiwe Makanya's life demonstrates an interesting departure from what was
generally perceived to be the status and role of women in African rural society in
the early years of this century. To a considerable extent, she was among a
vanguard--challenging an array of traditional and sexist array of forces blocking
her path. Through this she created a space for other women to renegotiate or avoid
the roles that their society had determined for them.
This thesis is divided into six chapters: Chapter One positions Sibusisiwe Makanya
in her historical period and attempts to answer some issues relating to
representation and the nature of biographical writing as it has arisen in. South
African Women's Studies and the concern relating to silences and lacunae in
evidence regarding Sibusisiwe. Chapter Two deals with the life and work of
Sibusisiwe before she left to study in the USA. Chapter Three discusses her sojourn
in America and the educational and personal challenges she had to deal with.
Chapter Four explores the nature of work she initiated as a social worker in a
rural/ peri urban area of South Africa. Chapter Five discusses her work as she
became more firmly established and as she became a role model fo other women,
both for her dedicated community work and for her self actualisation. Chapter Six
draws together the various themes discussed in the thesis and explains the
relevance of Sibusisiwe's work for the new South Africa.||en_US