FRIEDA BOKWE MATHEWS
Frieda Bokwe Matthews had family ties which were extraordinary by any measure: daughter of Reverand John Knox Bokwe, who was one of the leading figures of the Xhosa intellectuals in the 1880s grappling with the historical experience of modernity among the African people; sister of Dr Roseberry Bokwe, a medical doctor who belonged to the great tradition of New African medical doctors from Abdullah Abdurahman to A. B. Xuma and Yusuf Dadoo; and, wife of Z. K. Matthews, a brilliant educationalist, an important teacher of Nelson Mandela, and close friend of Jomo Kenyatta and Mnandi Azikiwe. Frieda Bokwe was a teacher by profession. She is memorialized as a teacher at Adams College in Amanzimtoti by Ellen Kuzwayo in classic autobiography Call Me Woman: "Several women teachers made a lasting impression on me while I was at Adams. First there was Sis Frieda - as we called her - the producer of "Esther', which I mentioned earlier. She was a very good-looking woman, kind but firm, and very outspoken on the subject of courtship. Her approach was more on what girls should do than on what they should not. She was the first woman in my life to talk openly about sex. Perhaps I valued this informal education because I had lost confidence in the person of my mother. Frieda provided a model of married life and motherhood for all of us" (p.87). Given that Call Me Woman is taken as one of the fundamental books of South African feminism in the second half of the twenyieth-century, Ellen Kuzwayo's recollection of Frieda Bokwe Matthews takes on greater significance. Continuing on the new visions and new pesrpectives made possible by the activities of Charlotte Manye Maxeke, the great apostle of South African modernity, Fried Bokwe Matthews was in effect the teacher of Ellen Kuzwayo's generation of women of the proper role of the African woman in the ongoing unfolding of New African modernity. Frieda Bokwe Matthews' Remembrances is an autobiography that re-establishes the intellectual lineages of the New African Movement.