Graça Simbine was born in Gaza Province, Portuguese East Africa back in 1945. She attended the Methodist mission schools. He continued her education attending the University of Lisbon in Portugal studying German. She was fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English. After graduation she joined the Mozambican Liberation Front.
In 1992, she received the Africa Prize, awarded annually to an individual who has contributed to the goal of eliminating hunger in Africa. In 1997, she was honored with the Dame Commander of the Order of the British empire by Queen Elizabeth II for her contribution and services in the field or human rights protection. She has been chancellor for the University of Cape Town from 1999-2019. In 2009, she was appointed to the Commonwealth of Nations’ Eminent Person Group. In 2016, she was named chancellor of the African Leadership University, a role that she still holds today.
What you may not know about Graça is that she is the former wife of President of Mozambique Samor Machel and President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. She is the only woman in modern history to have served as First Lady of two countries. In 1975, she was appointed Mozambican first Minister of Education and Culture.
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