Jump to navigation Jump to search

History of Macmillan and Macmillan Education in Southern Africa


The company was founded by Daniel Macmillan who, together with his brother Alexander, published their first book in 1843. Daniel's grandson, Harold Macmillan, joined in 1923 and contributed to the company's success over a period of more than 60 years. He was Prime Minister of the UK from 1956 to 1963. Harold Macmillan's famous "winds of change" tour of Africa in the 1960s not only changed the political face of Africa, but also provided the grand old man of publishing an opportunity to expand the Macmillan publishing empire throughout the continent – from oil rich Nigeria to diamond rich South Africa. Harold Macmillan's winds of change continued to blow throughout South Africa in the 1970s and Macmillan Boleswa emerged as a fresh breeze from the old, conservative style of southern African publishing – and soon became a potent educational publishing force in the region. The winds of change altered the way in which Macmillan perceived its publishing objectives in southern Africa.

Macmillan very quickly discarded the conventional view that the difficult South African market should be challenged head on, and the focus was changed to the BLS countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland), where few publishers ventured. From a relatively small Swaziland base, unfettered by apartheid constraints, Boleswa grew rapidly – and became the first affirmative action publishing company – long before it was fashionable.

With strong editorial and production support from the UK, Boleswa developed fresh, innovative products, which were light years ahead of the competition. The winds of change which gave birth to Boleswa were often tempestuous and frequently unpredictable, but they resulted in the creation of a major publishing undertaking in the southern African region.

Sources See also Pan-Macmillan

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities B

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page