“Whenever I see a Manyano woman, I see a woman who has the world in her hands and has the power to make things change because of the power that is prayer”. – Stella Shumbe
“As a Manyano, you listen to painful journeys and experiences of people … They talk about abuse at home, unemployment, children who are reckless and all the sensitive things you can think of … We come together to share our pain and struggles.’ – Nobuntu Madwe
Lihle Ngcobozi, herself the progeny of three generations of Manyano women, takes an original, fresh look at the meaning of the Manyano. Between male-dominated struggle narratives and Western feminist misreadings, this church-based women’s organisation has become a mere footnote to history.
Long overlooked as the juggernaut of black women’s organising that it has been and continues to be, the Manyano has immense historical and cultural meaning in black communities across the country. To this day, it is still evolving to meet the changing needs of black South Africans. Here, the Manyano women speak for themselves, in an African feminist meditation rendered by one of their own.