Civil rights activist Steve Biko, or the Father of Black Consciousness, is remembered for his work against apartheid in South Africa. He founded the Black Consciousness Movement while still a medical school student. He was banned by the pro-apartheid regime in 1973. He was beaten to death in custody.
David Bale was an English entrepreneur and animal rights activist. He worked closely with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, which aims at protecting endangered mountain gorillas, and served as one of its board members. Apart from his work as an activist for animal rights and environmental causes, David Bale is also known as the father of actor Christian Bale.
Miriam Makeba was a South African singer, actress, songwriter, civil rights activist, and United Nations goodwill ambassador. One of the first African musicians to make an impact on the international stage, Makeba is credited with popularizing Afropop genres. She also advocated against apartheid through music and played a major role in the civil rights movement.
Graça Machel is known for her association with Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and has been the country’s first education minister. She has also been married to both former Mozambican president Samora Machel and South African president Nelson Mandela. Through The Elders, she is devoted to working for women’s and children’s rights.
Walter Sisulu was a South African activist who played an important role in the anti-apartheid movement. Counted among the most important members of the ANC, Sisulu served more than 25 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities. For his contribution to the success of the ANC, Sisulu was honored with the prestigious Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe in 1992.
Keorapetse Kgositsile was a South African Tswana journalist, poet, and political activist. During the 1960s and 1970s, Kgositsile played an important role in the development of the African National Congress. Keorapetse Kgositsile helped bridge the gap between black poetry in the United States of America and African poetry. He was inaugurated as the nation's National Poet Laureate in 2006.
South African activist/journalist Ruth First is remembered for her relentless fight against apartheid. Born to Latvian immigrants and founders of the South African Communist Party, First was later tried for treason and detained. While working at a Mozambican university in exile, she was assassinated in a parcel bomb attack
Allan Boesak is a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and politician. He is also a prominent anti-apartheid activist. Along with Winnie Mandela and Beyers Naude, Boesak won the 1985 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. A liberation theologian, he has served as the president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. His career has been marred by many controversies.
In spite of being born into an impoverished working-class family, Steve Tshwete was given a decent education by his parents. The South African politician was an African National Congress member and had been imprisoned for his anti-apartheid activities. He was also known as Mr Fixit for supporting non-racial sports rules.
Adelaide Tambo, also known as Mama Tambo, had decided to fight against police atrocities after witnessing her grandfather being falsely accused of engaging in riots. Initially a nurse, she grew up to be an anti-apartheid activist, founded various pan-African movements, and married African National Congress leader Oliver Tambo.
South African author Alex La Guma, best known for his works such as A Walk in the Night and In the Fog of the Season’s End, was born into a family that was associated with the black liberation movement. He also served as the main representative of the African National Congress.
Politician, educator, and women’s rights activist Ellen Kuzwayo lost her family farm in Thaba Nchu, when the land was declared a whites-only area. She divorced her abusive husband and later related her ordeal in the CNA Award-winning book Call Me Woman. She had also been an African National Congress MP.
South African pediatric cardiologist and professor Lungile Pepeta is remembered for his life-long struggle to improve his country’s medical facilities and to create a medical school for doctors from rural areas. Part of the advisory committee of the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, he himself died of the virus later.
Victoria Chitepo, better known as the wife of Zimbabwe African National Union leader Herbert Chitepo, is remembered for her fight for Black rights and her association with the National Democratic Party. She had also been a minister of tourism and telecommunications. In 2016, she was found dead in her home.