Cornelia “Connie” September was born 26 June 1959 in the Western Cape and grew up on the West Coast where her mother would send her for holidays. September began her political activism in the trade union and labour movement. She worked as factory worker in Salt River with little interest in politics or trade unions. This changed in 1982, when she attended a meeting for the community newspaper Grassroots, where politics and workers’ rights were discussed. Subsequently, she became an active member of community organisations in the Cape.