Tag Archives: Inanda Mission
February 7, 2013

Bophela family of Inanda Mission

The headstones at the Inanda Seminary Cemetery indicate that Mbila (the son of Batshazwayo) and his wife Nomanxiwa KaGolokoqo Cele were 88 and83 years old respectively when they died. Already in the mid-nineteenth century, they were already members of local church. One of the sons of Mbila was Blanjan Mhlathini who died in 1963. His sons Oscar and Pascoe Simo are the subjects of this report. Both became prominent members of both church and community.

O.K Bophela

Oscar (Popular known as O.K) became a teacher of tailoring at Ohlange Institute. When he retired, he became a businessman serving the community throughout his life. Also his name on the commemorative plaque outside the church confirms that he became a deacon and prominent member of the church. He and his wife lie buried at the local cemetery.

P.S Bophela

Pascoe Simo (Popular known amongst his colleagues as PSB) was the younger (and only) brother of O.K. His wife, Grace Ntonjana was a member of another well-known family, the Mfeka’s of Emachobeni. Both became school teachers. After graduating with a B.A  at Fort Hare, Pascoe taught at Mpolweni and then moved to Adams College. He established his reputation as a good teacher of Maths and Science, working together with such great names as Mthimkhulu, Moerane, Mtshali and Ngobese.

In 1948 Pascoe returned to his home and community at Inanda Mission and taught at Ohlange Institute where he became acting headmaster until 1960. When he left for Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) where he taught at Mount Selinda and Chikore both secondary schools both run by American Board Mission (UCCSA). In 1992 Pascoe returned to Inanda at the advent of democracy in South Africa. He died in 1994 leaving behind four sons who are still alive and a daughter who is late. He was buried by UCCSA and his community of Inanda and likes, like his forebears, at the cemetery at Inanda Seminary.

What conclusion can be drawn from this brief narrative?

  • The Bophela (Bopela) family ranks amongst the Ngcobo, Goba, Ngidi, Mfeka, and Nxumalo as one of the first families to form the community of what today Inanda Mission.
  • They accepted Christianity early and played a prominent role in all aspects of the church and mission congregants and deacons.
  • They became prominent in business- O.K Bophela and P.S Bophela established Mtshazi cash store in KwaNgolosi and O.K ran school view cash store and education.

Written by Vusumuzi N Bopela in January 2013 (collected by Xolani Magwaza)

For more information on some of the organizations or institutions mentioned in this post click on one of the links below:

University of Fort Hare

Adams College

American Board Mission

United Congregational Church of Southern Africa


January 18, 2013

Inanda Seminary

Inanda Seminary, founded by the American Board of Missions (ABM) in 1869 forms an integral part of the history of Inanda. Situated 25 kilometres north west of Durban, it became the first secondary school exclusively for African girls in southern Africa. Its reputation grew rapidly and the school soon attracted students from across the continent.

The Rev. Daniel Lindley and his wife, Lucy, came to South Africa in 1835, as one of six couples sent by the ABM to start mission work in the country. Working at first in what is today the North-West Province, the Lindleys joined the Grout and Champion families who had opened ABM stations in Natal. By 1847 the Lindleys had established themselves near Chief Mqhawe’s kraal in the Inanda area to work among the Ngcobo people who had been dispossessed of their land and threatened with massacre by King Dingane’s impis. Other Zulu clans also moved into the area and were settled in “reserves” that extended from the Tugela River in the north to the Umzimkulu River in the south under the protection of the colonial government.
Daniel and Lucy Lindley and their 11 children moved onto the Inanda Mission in 1858. The mission house, still standing and currently used as the Seminary’s general office, was built by Daniel Lindley with home-burned bricks. In 1869 they opened a school to train girls to be teachers and “good wives” for the young men being trained at Adams College in Amanzimtoti. The AMB voted 50 pounds to the project and Inanda Seminary opened as a boarding school with 19 girls being admitted initially. Mary Kelly Edwards, a 40-year-old widow from Ohio, was appointed as the first principal of the Inanda Seminary, continuing her association with the school until she died at the age of ninety-eight.



History of Inanda Seminary

Dumisani Zondi

Ellen Kuzwayo

Angelina N. Sithebe




October 12, 2012

Grave of James C. Bryan

Bryan was an American missionary who worked with Rev Lindley in the 19th century. He is buried on a hill site on Qadi land, which was very unusual at the time. The inscription on the badly weathered head stone reads: “James C Bryan. American mission to the Zulus. Eminent devoted … born 1850, he lived …. and died aged 38“