Dr Sindiwe Magona

Dr Sindiwe Magona: motivational speaker, author, poet, playwright, translator, story-teller, and actor –at retirement, relocated to her home country, South Africa, after a successful career spanning more than two decades at UN Headquarters, New York, USA.

Sindiwe Magona was born in rural Transkei and grew up in the Cape flats of Cape Town before the forced removals took her to Gugulethu. The second of eight children and the eldest of the five girls, she experienced, first hand, the abbreviated childhood that is the plight of poor girl children the world over. Terribly ill prepared for meaningful entry into the world of work, Magona was a single parent by age twenty three. Left with three small children, she worked for four years as a domestic servant.

How she overcame the dire poverty her husband’s abandonment plunged her into is the subject of the second
part of her autobiography, Forced to Grow. But it is also the foundation of her belief that one’s station in life, at the time of birth, need not necessarily determine where one will end. From Bantu Education Teachers’ Certificate that did not require matric, Magona boasts a Master’s degree from Columbia University and has had a successful career at the United Nations.

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