On this day (8 January) in 1912, at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein, Josiah Gumede, John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatje founded the African National Congress (ANC), then called the South African Native National Congress (SANNC).
Dube – a writer, philosopher and educator – was the SANNC’s first president.
He served from 1912 to 1917.
Josiah Tshangana Gumede
Josiah Tshangana Gumede - a teacher - was born on 9 October 1867 in Healdtown Village, Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape.
He died on 6 November 1946.
He is a descendant of chief Khondlo, an Ngwane chief who was forced to flee Zululand.
John Langalibalele Dube
John Langalibalele Dube (11 February 1871 – 11 February 1946) was an essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist and poet from the Colony of Natal.
Dube studied at the Oberlin College in Ohio.
He returned to South Africa where he and his first wife, Nokutela Dube, founded a newspaper and what is now Ohlange High School.
Pixley ka Isaka Seme
Pixley ka Isaka Seme (1 October 1881 to 7 June 1951) was South Africa's first black lawyer.
He studied at the Northfield Mount Hermon School (Massachusetts), Columbia University (New York) and at Oxford University (Oxford, England).
He was born in Daggakraal in the Colony of Natal.
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (9 October 1876 – 19 June 1932) was a South African intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer.
When Plaatje turned 21, the Cape Colony (where he lived) extended the right to vote to all men 21 or over, if they were able to read and write English or Dutch, and earned over 50 pounds a year.
He was therefore able to vote, a right he would lose when British rule ended.