An African lady in Victorian England

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This rather beautiful young woman was Mrs Eleanor Xiniwe (nee Ndwanya), the photograph taken in 1891 while she was touring the country with the African choir she belonged to.

Between 1891-1893 a group of young Africans singers toured Britain and North American as the ’ African Choir’. Inspired by Orpheus M. McAdoo’s Virginia Jubilee Singers, they were a Christian choir on a mission to raise funds for a technical school in Kimberley in the Cape Colony (South Africa).

The Choir’s members included Paul Xiniwe and his wife Eleanor, Sannie Koopman, Charlotte Makhomo Manye, Johanna Jonkers, Josiah Semouse and a Miss Gwashu.

The African choir
The African choir
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