Sibusisiwe Violet Makhanya was a pioneer social worker, who received acclaim both locally and abroad for her innovative social welfare programmes among the community of Umbumbulu. She was born at Umbumbulu, a village to the south of Durban, on the 4 October 1894, the eldest of seven children. Her father was Nxele Jeremiah, a cousin (brother) of the then ruling Chief Mthambo Makhanya. Other children after Sibusisiwe were Qonda, Tyson, Franck Babane, Gilbert, Constance Nte and Virginia. Her mother was Nomagqoka, a Maphumulo from Umzinyathi in the Inanda district. Her mother had been one of the first students at Inanda Seminary, when it was run by the first Principal, Mrs Mary K. Edwards, an American missionary. Sibusisiwe received her primary education at Umbumbulu, her high school education at Inanda Seminary, and trained as a teacher at Adams College.