Little Known Black History Fact: Albert Makaula

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  • Albert Makaula was the son of a South African prince whose son became the first black footballer in Kent, England. Born in 1865, Makaula was of the Bhoca people in South Africa, but was poor as a child. He was adopted by a missionary named Charles White, and took his adopted family’s last name. Like his adoptive father, Makaula-White became a missionary. People would come from miles around to see him and his work. He married and moved to England in search of a better home for his family.

    Makaula-White was well respected by whites in England. He owned property and became the first black farmer in Kent. He and his wife had three children. One of them was Charles (named after Albert’s father), who became Kent’s first black footballer in 1928. He and his family had lived peacefully until they were accused of pig neglect in 1928 and were prosecuted by the RSPCA  (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

    As for Charles Makaula-White, he made a name for himself in football, making headlines all over the world. He was mistakenly called a Zulu by press. A center-forward, Charles Makaula-White would score 14 goals in his first nine games.

    Financial issues led to stress for Albert Makaula-White and the first black missionary farmer in Kent, England died of heart failure on September 13, 1937. He is buried in Lenham, England near Kent.

    The life of the Makaula-White family is a forgotten but favorable English story that is being told by English author Marika Sherwood in an upcoming book.
     

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