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Xuma Alfred

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Alfred Bitini Xuma

Dr. Alfred Bitini Xuma was born into an aristocratic Xhosa family in the Transkei in 1893. He was educated locally and rose from herd boy, houseboy, horse trainer, teacher, shipping clerk and hotel and train waiter, to one of the country's most influential black thinkers and leaders.

When he had completed his local primary school education Bitini went to the Maritzburg Training Institute to study teaching. He taught at various schools, earning fourteen pounds a term, and as was the custom, gave his entire salary to his father.

Source: The Fifties People of South Africa, compiled and edited by Jurgen Schadeberg, 1987

Bitini read about the opportunities for education through self help in America. In 1913 he sailed for New York, where he entered various institutions and universities. He studied at night while he worked at the Alabama Steel Mills.

After graduating as a Doctor of Medicine, he went to Europe where he specialised in gynaecology and studied further in Glasgow ...

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