Adams College: 160 Years of Black Education

180px-AdamscrestPlans are afoot to celebrate the 160th anniversary of one of the pioneering institutions in black education later this year.

In November Adams College will be holding parties in honour of the icons who have passed through the school more than 150 years ago.

Situated about 35km south of Durban, it is the second school to be built as an education facility for African children in the country.

The first was Lovedale in the Eastern Cape. Adams College was built in 1853 by American missionaries led by Dr Newton Adams to teach newly converted Africans about the intricacies of education.

It has produced luminaries such as AU chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, IFP President Mangosuthu Buthelezi, three ANC presidents – John Langalibalele Dube, Pixley kaIsaka Seme, Chief Albert Luthuli – Botswana’s first president Sir Seretse Khama, Uganda’s Milton Obote, ANC Youth League founding leader Anton Lembede, Prof Sihawu Ngubane of the University of KZN, ANC stalwart ZK Mathews, Zimbabwe’s Joshua Nkomo, the late Govan Mbeki and his wife Epainette.

Last week the school hosted Paul Mashatile, the Minister of Arts and Culture, who committed his department to help rebuild dilapidated structures that were falling apart after years of wear and tear. Mashatile promised his department would build the school’s library, a music centre, a museum and an African-themed garden.

Thulasizwe Makhanya, who is coordinating preparations for the celebrations, said it was all systems go. The festivities would give former students – many of whom have made great strides in their chosen fields in South Africa and internationally – a chance to go down memory lane and reminisce about their college days.

Celebrations would start on November 18. On November 23 a gala dinner will be held at Durban’s ICC and the celebrations would end the following day. Makhanya appealed to former students to make financial contributions and other necessary resources to make the event memorable.

Chris Makhaye

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