Her birthplace remains a bone of contention but Charlotte Maxeke’s legacy as a woman visionary is cemented in the annals of South African history. She was born Charlotte Mmakgomo Manye on 7 April 1871 in either Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, or at Botlokwa Ga-Ramokgopa, in Polokwane District, in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.
She received a missionary education at Edwards Memorial School in the Eastern Cape in the early 1880s. After the discovery of diamonds, Maxeke moved to Kimberley with her family in 1885. While in Kimberley, she became a teacher.