Born on December 28 1947, Mamphela Ramphele became an anti-apartheid activist and one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement.
She had two children with activist Steve Biko, who died in custody in 1977 and whose story became the film Cry Freedom.
She was internally banished by the apartheid government to the town of Tzaneen from 1977 to 1984.
She has earned several degrees, including a medical degree, two postgraduate diplomas, a bachelor of commerce in administration, and a PhD in social anthropology.
Ramphele was promoted to vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town in 1996, the first black African and the first woman to serve in that post.
She joined the World Bank in Washington as the managing director for human development in 2000. She left the bank in 2004.
The executive chairperson at Circle Capital ventures, a venture capital black economic empowerment company, she is also a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation. Last week, she stepped down as chair of Gold Fields.
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