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Mamphela Ramphele was a key anti-apartheid activist; she is also a politician, a medical doctor, a businesswoman and a scholar. She was married to Steve Biko, both of whom were key founders of the Black Consciousness Movement.

Mamphela Ramphele Early life

Ramphele was born on the 28th of December 1947 in South Africa; her parents were both teachers and her dad was eventually promoted to the headmaster position of the institution where he taught.

During her days in the university, Ramphele got involved in student politics and became very active in the anti-apartheid movement. She was one of the early founders of the BCM; where she met Steve Biko.

Steve Biko

She got married to Steve Biko in 1970 and they had two children together. Steve Biko (Stephen Bantu Biko) was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the key founder of the Black Consciousness Movement; a movement aimed at empowering black people.

On the 12th of September, Biko died while in police custody. He had been earlier arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 and interrogated (tortured and beating to coma) by officers.

Mamphela Ramphele’s Educational & Professional Career

  • Secondary School: G. H. Frantz Secondary School, Bethesda Normal School and Setotolwane High School.
  • Pre-medical course: University of the North
  • Medical School: Natal Medical School (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Medical School)
  • Bachelor of Medicine: University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Diploma in Tropical Health & Hygiene: University of the Witwatersrand
  • Diploma in Public Health: University of the Witwatersrand
  • PHD in Social Anthropology: University of Cape Town

Honorary Doctorate Award

  • New York University
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Cape Town
  • Hunter College
  • Tufts University
  • University of Cambridge

She was the first black woman to be the Vice-Chancellor at a South African university;

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor: University of Cape Town – 1991
  • Vice-Chancellor: University of Cape Town – 1996

She was also the first South African to be a Managing Director at World Bank.

  • Managing Director: World bank – 2000
  • Trustee: Nelson mandel Foundation
  • Director: Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (IDASA)
  • Board Member: Anglo-American Corporation
  • Non Executive Director: Medi Clinic Holdings and Transnet

Mamphela Ramphele Political Career

In 2013, Ramphele actively returned to South African polictis; this led to the formation of a new political party by the name Agang South Africa.

A year after the formation of Agang South Africa, there were controversies; as Ramphele accepted an invitation from the DA to stand as their presidential candidate in 2014. Unfortunately Ramphele changed her mind about her decision and decided to remain the leader of Agang South Africa.

Due to some internal party conflicts, Ramphele announced her withdrawal from politics on the 8th of July 2014.