Maria Valentyne

Plot 42

Maria Valentyne was the known as the midwife of Oukloof. She was the woman everybody, even the white people, called on to help deliver babies.

Maria Valentyne was the grandmother of Lydia van der Merwe (nee Afrika) and the great-grandmother of Francis Quintini (nee Afrika).

According to the family history, Maria Valentyne spoke English and was educated at an English mission school. She married John Valentyne in the early 1900s. John Valentyne was also highly educated for coloured people during that period. He apparently finished school with a standard 10 but while he was waiting for a teaching post he went to work on the farms. Francis Quintini recalls the story told to her by her late grandmother Fransina Afrika.

“While John was working on the farms he started drinking and after one too many severe beatings from the white farmer, he came home in bad a state.”

Fransina Afrika who was just a young girl at the time went to call her mother at the farm house to come home and help John. John passed away a few days later. The farmer threw mother and daughter off the farm.