Dr. Mamphela Ramphele

Co-founder: Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
Mamphela Ramphele wanted to be a scientist but she was black and female, in a racist, misogynist society and so was advised to enter medicine, where she attained her doctorate. During her studies, she helped co-found the Black Consciousness Movement with her partner and father of two of her children, the student activist, Steve Biko. Unlike him, she survived apartheid to see black men become Presidents of both South Africa and the US.
Considering her background, Dr Ramphele speaks surprisingly warmly about FW de Klerk, by acknowledging that considering the politics with which he’d been raised, she believes he needs to be “celebrated for having recognising that there is only one way forward.”
Dr Ramphele went on to enjoy a successful career, spending four years as a managing director of the World Bank. Her biggest regret is that she wasn’t able to marry the love of her life, Steve Biko. He was murdered in police custody during the couple’s marriage preparations.