b. 1885, King William's Town, South Africa; d. 1959, East London, South Africa
The son of the distinguished South African scholar, teacher, and editor, John Tengo Jabavu , Davidson Jabavu was also the father of Noni Jabavu. A gifted linguist, Davidson Jabavu was educated in the Eastern Cape and at the University of London, where he studied languages and music. On his return to South Africa in 1916 he taught African languages at the University of Fort Hare and also edited Imvo Zabantsundu (Black Opinion), the famous Xhosa journal founded by his father and one of the pillars of the vernacular press in Africa. Many of his poems appeared in this journal and were later collected in two collections Izithuko (Abuses) (1954) and Izidungulwana (Twigs) (1959). Davidson Jabavu traveled widely during his lifetime and his experiences were represented in three travel books in Xhosa: E Jerusalem (To Jerusalem) (1928), E Amerika (To America) (1932), and E-Indiya nase-East Afrika (To India and East Africa) (1951).
b. 1859, Eastern Cape, South Africa; d. 1921, South Africa
writer and editor
John Tengo Jabavu is considered to be one of the founders of African literature in South Africa. Born into a Christian family in the Eastern Cape, he taught himself Greek and Latin and became involved in journalism, writing for both Xhosa and English language newspapers in the Cape. While he rarely wrote fiction, Jabavu was the editor of some of the most important Xhosa newspapers in which early African writers in the language were published. One of the most important of these newspapers was Imvo Zabantsundu (Black Opinion), which was to provide a forum for debates about the most pressing issues of the day, including racial politics, land, and political representation. John Tengo Jabavu was a tireless advocate of education for blacks in South Africa (see education and schools) and a relentless advocate for a college of higher education for Africans. It was largely through his efforts that the historic University College of Fort Hare was established in 1916.