Tribute – Lindiwe Myeza

April 19, 2020


pwmsa news

PWMSA Pays Tribute To The Late Mme Lindiwe Myeza

07 March 1935 - 13 April 2020

The Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa particularly the National Convenor Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize is deeply saddened by the passing of an icon, an inspiration and anti-apartheid activist Mme Lindiwe Myeza. Our heartfelt condolences to her daughter Ms. Buhle Myeza, the family at large and grandchildren.

We would like to share with you taking from her official profile the contributions and the legacy she has made.

Lindiwe Leah Aida Myeza was born in 1935 in Sophiatown, Gauteng at a time
where by South Africa was faced with apartheid and political unrest. Mam Lindy as many referred to her, completed her matric at the Mazenod Catholic High School in Durban. After she matriculated, she went to further her studies at Indaleni Teachers Training College where she completed a Teacher’s Training Diploma and taught at the Charlestown Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal until 1961, when she became the administrator of the Baragwana Nursing College. The career she had chosen reflected her passion for the development and upliftment of her community.

Along her path, Mam Lindy worked with University of the Witwatersrand to provide support to the many black students who were prevented from writing their final examinations. She was also asked to assist in brokering peace negotiations between disputing parties at the Mzimhlope hostel uprising in Soweto, and went on to assist with similar interventions in Tembisa, Vosloorus and Vereeniging. Despite being a woman in a fiercely patriarchal society, she was able to employ her vast and varied skills to mediate successfully between the warring factions. Furthermore, she became the first female director of the Wilgespruit Fellowship Centre in Roodepoort, a church-based training centre for the unemployed and illiterate.

Mam Lindy achieved numerous successes and received many recognitions and national orders for her hard work and dedication. Amongst her awards, she was honoured with The Order of the Baobab in Silver, a national order from the Presidency for her excellent contribution to the economic upliftment of women and underprivileged communities in South Africa. The Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa honoured Mam Lindy with a Life Support Award which continued to support her until the time of her passing on 13th April 2020. The Star Newspaper presented her with an award 1977, in recognition of her bravery and resourcefulness.

When the University of South Africa honoured her with Master of Education, they acknowledged her considerable networking skills as in 1985, she was able to organised for a group of 200 South African women to attend a United Nations (UN) meeting in Nairobi, which focused on issues such as equality, development and peace. Myeza felt that it was an important event in which South African women should participate. Using air-fare money that she had been saving for herself, she unselfishly sent her daughter and niece in her place. When the delegation returned from Nairobi, Myeza rallied together more than 1 000 women at the Parktonian Hotel to debate the outcomes of the UN meeting and to plan a way forward.

Mam Lindy believed in women empowerment and that women needs to be equipped with skills in order for them to become self-sufficient that is why she established the Women’s Informal Training Initiative in 1983 which became one of the first women’s literacy groups.

The organisation recognises and greatly appreciates the contributions she made to the change of lives, literacy and economic upliftment of women and previously disadvantaged South African communities.

May her soul rest in peace.

Issued by:
Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize
PWMSA National Convenor

Philile Nina Bongwe
+27 83 350 5329