(known as Nomabali), (1943-) Teacher, civil servant, novelist, poet, playwright, story-teller, actor, and inspirational speaker, women’s activist. Born on the 27th August 1943 in Gungululu, Eastern Cape (then Transkei), South Africa. The first born of eight children, she grew up in Blouvlei, Retreat in Cape Town. Magona earned her secondary and undergraduate education (a Higher Primary Teacher's Diploma) by correspondence, and later won a scholarship to study for her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Columbia University in the United States of America. A former primary school teacher and civil servant, she was a worker for peaceful change during the years of struggle in South Africa, and was one of the founding members of the Women’s Peace Movement in 1976. Moving to the USA she contributed immeasurably in various capacities to the work of the United Nations (UN), an organisation she served for 20 years, till her retirement in 2003. She then relocated to her home country, where she remained active, as author and speaker, as cultural activist , for example as the founder and Executive Director of South Africa 2033. Magona is the recipient of numerous awards, for example 1993 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Hartwick College, New York and in 2011 the State President conferred on her the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze.
Alongside her formal work life, she is a prolific author who has produced nine books, among them an autobiographical work, a collection of short stories, novellas and an anthology of poetry. As playwright, has produced inter alia I Promised Myself a Fabulous Middle-Age and the Aids play Vukani! (which has been performed in colleges, churches, and theatres in the United States).
She is the mother of 3 children.
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