Allison Wessels George Champion was born the 4th December 1893 at Sans Souci School, Lower Tugela, Natal. His father whose native surname was Patiya Mhlongo, had been adopted by an American Board Missionary and given the surname of Champion. The young Champion attended school at Amanzimtoti Training Institute, where he became known as a difficult pupil, not taking kindly to discipline. He was often punished and eventually expelled. Allison Champion left school in 1913 at the age of 20 and was employed as a Native constable in Johannesburg.
He retired from service after acting as a plain-clothes constable in Dundee, Natal, in 1915.
From 1917 to 1925 Champion was engaged as a clerk on the Crown Mines. Elected second president of the Transvaal Native Clerks’ Association, he played a prominent part in the Gamma Sigma Club. He was also a member of the Joint Council of Europeans and Natives, Johannesburg, and the Bantu Men’s Social Centre.