Traditionally, the exploration of black church leaders in South Africa has been focused on the clergy, i.e. the male leaders of the various churches. While this is one aspect of the topic it does not give a complete picture of black leadership in the churches, as it fails to recognize the role played by women in the churches of South Africa. This was the criticism raised against the Sinomlando Centre upon the completion of its project entitled "Black Clergy under Apartheid in the Natal Midlands".
In 1999, the Sinomlando Centre in conjunction with the School of Religion and Culture of the former University of Durban-Westville (Prof. Isabel Phiri) then set up a project aimed at collecting the memories of leaders of black women's Christian organisations in KwaZulu-Natal. More than 30 interviews were conducted with women leaders in Sobantu, Imbali and Umlazi. This project was completed in 2002 with the findings contained in a report jointly compiled by Philippe Denis and Isabel Phiri. Download this report here...
A national gathering of the Mother's Union, the Anglican manyano
Denis, Philippe "We also had to live with apartheid in our homes. Stories of women in Sobantu, South Africa", Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 30/1 (June 2004), pp. 151-67.
--, "African traditional religion and Christian identity in a group of manyano leaders", Missionalia 32/2 (2004), pp. 177-189. [French version: "Chrétiennes et africaines : le dilemme d'un groupe de femmes sud-africaines", Revue théologique de Louvain, 35 (2004), pp. 54-74.]