S.M.L. Endeley was born on June 9, 1923 to Chief Mathias Lifafa Endeley, Chief of Buea from 1915-1925, and Maria Mojoko Litombe of Soppo Wonganga in Buea.
He began his education in the German Basel vernacular Kindergarten in Soppo Wonganga where he was a pupil from 1929-31. Teaching was done in Bakweri and Duala. In 1932 he was admitted into Government School Buea where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1939.