Zonnebloem College

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Zonnebloem College

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Zonnebloem College was established in 1858 by Bishop Gray and Sir George Grey in order to educate the children of chiefs, in the hope that they would then carry the message of Christianity and civilization back to their people. It was also the hope of Sir George Grey that this would be a way of solving the state of constant conflict between black and white. The then‑called 'Kaffir College' began with 25 pupils who were housed and schooled at Bishop's Court. They received a liberal education and were also taught trades: carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring and dressmaking. By 1859 there were 49 children at the school and removal to more spacious quarters became urgent. A farm called Zonnebloem, on the slopes of Devils Peak, was bought in 1859 for £6 000, and thence the College moved in 1860. The property was taken over by the See of Cape Town in trust for the education of children of all races of Southern Africa, and for many years white, black and coloured did mix at Zonnebloem College. Gradually, however, as schools such as Lovedale opened nearer home, fewer blacks attended the College, and legislation in 1913 debarred white students. The College became increasingly a coloured educational institution. Many children of chiefs were educated at Zonnebloem College, among them the children of Sandili, Moshesh and Lobengul. Since the 1920's Z.C. has been a training school for coloured teachers, including also a secondary school and boys' and girls' Practising Schools.


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