Ellen Kuzwayo grew up in the country, but lived most of her life in the city. She spent time as a “disgruntled schoolteacher”, social worker, mother, wife, and in her sixties returned to study at the University of the Witwatersrand for a higher qualification in social work. She was very active in the community life of Soweto, and acted as the president of the Black Consumer Union of South Africa and the Maggie Magba Trust. Kuzwayo was chosen Woman of the Year in 1979 by the Johannesburg newspaper The Star, and was nominated again in 1984. She helped make two films, Awake from Mourning and Tsiamelo: A Place of Goodness, both of which have had international distribution. She passed away in 2006.