Saturday, July 15, 2006

Manche Masemola

Manche Masemola, a South African girl, was believed to be born in 1913. She was a member of the Pedi tribe. In the early twentieth century, the first Christians from the tribe formed a community. They were very much suspected by other pagan members of the tribe.
Manche grew up with her family. She did not go to school, but helped in her home as other girls from the tribe did. In 1919, an Anglican missionary began preaching among the Pedis. Manche and her cousin, Lucia, listened to the preacher with interest.

This was a source of stress within the family; however, for her parents feared she would leave them and not marry the person they would select as her husband. Such arranged marriages were a source of wealth to the families who contracted them. Her parents beat her, and the constantly abused child told her sister and cousin she would die at their hands. “Manche's mother said she would force us to leave the church. She beat Manche every time she returned from church,” the cousin recalled later. Relations worsened, and the mother hid the girl's clothes so she could not attend Christian instructional classes. On February 4, 1928, her parents led the teenager to a lonely place, where they killed her, burying her by a granite rock on a remote hillside.


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