THE CHARLOTTE MANNYA-MAXEKE INSTITUTE (CMMI)
BRING OTHERS UP
Leadership – Education – Empowerment – Legacy
The Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Institute (CMMI) is a family initiative born out of the desire to preserve, promote, elevate and leverage the legacy left behind by Mme Charlotte. The CMMI was founded by three families related to this icon, namely the Maxeke’s, the Mannya’s, and the Makhanya’s (her sister Katie married into the Makhanya’s). The CMMI has been registered as a non-profit company (NPC).
Mme Charlotte’s achievements and contributions to society both inside and beyond South Africa’s borders motivated the families to seek recognition of her accomplishments as well as continue to promote her teachings, the values she stood for, and the continued empowering of women and social activism she pursued during her lifetime.
A vibrant agenda of uplifting, empowering, and propelling African women of all generations to their rightful and notable level.
To elevate, educate and emancipate African women to take the lead in all spheres of life while maintaining the spirit of Ubuntu.
To produce proud, extraordinary, and miraculous African women in celebration of Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke’s rich history.
Spearheading the development and growth of African women by supporting excellence.
About MME Charlotte
Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke (1871 – 1919) was a pioneering South African woman who was passionate about inclusivity, education, and evangelism. She grasped every opportunity presented to her and accomplished many notable firsts during her lifetime.
- being the first black South African woman to achieve a BSC degree in 1901.
- being the first woman to participate in the King’s Courts under King Sabata Dalindyebo of AbaThembu.
- establishing a school in Evaton with her husband in 1908 (Wilberforce Institute)
- being the only woman who attended and contributed to the first African National Congress (ANC) conference in 1912.
- being co-initiator, organiser, and the first President of the Bantu Women’s League founded in 1918 (it would later become the ANC Women’s League)
CMMI runs a number of programmes that are aimed at preserving, promoting and elevating the legacy of Mme Charlotte. These include the annual Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Week (coinciding with her birth date and culminating in an annual memorial lecture), Bring Her Up, Top 100 Girl Camp, Preserving the Legacy and Intergenerational Dialogues during Women’s Month in August.
We have already started an annual program to commemorate Mme Charlotte through Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Week which is held during the week of 7 April, her birth date. The week’s program includes a house and gravesite visit, school debates and an essay competition (as part of Bring Her Up), a Charlotte Maxeke Hospital visit, and various activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. The week culminates in a memorial lecture delivered by other iconic and pioneering South African females. The 2019 program can be viewed here.
Bring-Her-Up (BHU) is a CMMI initiative that builds on Mme Charlotte’s belief that one should uplift one another. She once said: “This work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people but live with them, and if you can rise, bring someone with you.”