Interview with Dr. Kasavello Goonam

by Kasavello Goonam (interviewee), George M. Houser (interviewer)
Durban, South Africa
September 1954
Duration: 16:02
Type: Interview
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Language: English
Dr. Kasavello Goonam was an activist among Indian women in the Natal Indian Congress. One of the earliest women doctors in South Africa, she received her medical training in Edinburgh. She returned to South Africa in 1936, where her practice included many African patients and became a prominent leader of the Natal Indian Congress. A forceful speaker, she was imprisoned during the Indian passive resistance campaign in 1946 and again during the Defiance Campaign in 1952. She went into exile in the 1970s and, after Zimbabwe's independence, worked as surgeon in a hospital in Harare. She returned to Durban after the African National Congress (ANC) was unbanned and was active in public affairs until her death after the first democratic elections in South Africa. She authored Coolie Doctor: An Autobiography, (Durban: Madiba Publications, 1991) ISBN: 0958316937. This photo shows Dr. Kasavello Goonam in Durban in September 1954. Photo credit: George M. Houser.

By permission of George M. Houser and the Goonam family.
Collection: Private collection of George M. Houser