The missionary school where so many Black intellectuals of the 19th and early 20th century—from Tiyo Soga to Thabo Mbeki to Steve Biko — were to be educated.
Lovedale was established in 1824 by John Bennie and John Ross of the Glasgow Missionary Society (GMS). It was named after the society’s secretary at the time, Dr John Love.
It first provided informal education and training for Blacks around the Thyume Valley .
Lovedale officially opened as a seminary in 1841, three years before William Chamler presented Tiyo Soga, who would become South Africa’s first indigenous Black cleric for the Presbyterian Church, for the entrance examination.
Lovedale was a semi-multiracial school then — nine White boys, six Coloured and a multiple number of Black students, in 1841. They all shared classrooms and the dining hall, and mingled together in sport; but slept apart along racial lines. Classes were taught in Xhosa and English (there were no Afrikaans teachers). Christianity and classics (Latin and Greek) were the main subjects; followed by geography and mathematics.