94 Facts About Albert Luthuli


Albert Luthuli returned to his family's ancestral home of Groutville in 1908 to attend school under the care of his uncle.


Albert Luthuli's teaching was recognised by the government, and he was offered a bursary to study for the Higher Teacher's Diploma at Adams College.


Albert Luthuli joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was elected the provincial president of the Natal branch in 1951.


Albert Luthuli was against the use of violence, but as time passed, he gradually accepted it; however, he stayed committed to nonviolence on a personal level.


In 1961, Albert Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in leading the nonviolent anti-apartheid movement.


Albert Luthuli formed multi-racial alliances with the South African Indian Congress and the white Congress of Democrats, frequently drawing a backlash from Africanists in the ANC.


Albert John Luthuli was born at the Solusi Mission Station, a Seventh-day Adventist missionary station, in 1898 to John and Mtonya Luthuli who had settled in the Bulawayo area of Rhodesia.

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Albert Luthuli was the youngest of three children and had two brothers, Alfred Nsusana and Mpangwa, who died at birth.


Albert Luthuli's father died when he was about six months old, and Albert Luthuli had no recollection of him.


Mtonya and Alfred then travelled to Rhodesia to reunite with John, where Albert Luthuli was born soon after.


Albert Luthuli's paternal grandparents, Ntaba ka Madunjini and Titsi Mthethwa, were born in the early nineteenth century and had fought against potential annexation from Shaka's Zulu Kingdom.


Albert Luthuli's family settled in the Vryheid district of Northern Natal, and resided on the farm of a Seventh-day Adventist.


Albert Luthuli's mother recognised his need for a formal education and sent him to live in Groutville under the care of his uncle.


Albert Luthuli resided in the home of his uncle, Chief Martin Albert Luthuli, and his family.


Albert Luthuli had a pleasant childhood as his uncle Martin was guardian over many children in Groutville.


In Martin's traditional Zulu household, Albert Luthuli completed chores expected of a Zulu boy his age such as fetching water, herding, and building fires.


Under Martin's care, Albert Luthuli was provided with an early knowledge of traditional African politics and affairs, which aided him in his future career as a traditional chief.


Albert Luthuli would take in laundry from European families in the township of Stanger to earn the necessary money for school.


Albert Luthuli was educated at a local ABM mission school until 1914, where he then transferred to the Ohlange Institute.


Albert Luthuli was the first President-General of the South African Native National Congress and founded the first Zulu-language newspaper Ilanga lase Natal.


Albert Luthuli joined the ANC in 1944, partially out of respect to his former school principal.


Albert Luthuli joined a protest against a punishment which made boys carry large stones long distances, which damaged their uniforms that many couldn't afford.


At Edendale, Albert Luthuli developed a passion for teaching and went on to graduate with a teaching degree in 1917.


The school was small, and Albert Luthuli was the sole teacher working there.


Albert Luthuli was confirmed in the Methodist church and later became a lay preacher.

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Albert Luthuli proved himself to be a good teacher and the Natal Department of Education offered him a bursary in 1920 to study for a Higher Teacher's Diploma at Adams College.


Albert Luthuli refused, as he wanted to earn a salary to take care of his ageing mother.


Albert Luthuli taught Zulu history, music, and literature, and during his time as a teacher, he met his future wife, Nokukhanya Bhengu.


Albert Luthuli was a teacher at Adams and the granddaughter of a Zulu chief.


Albert Luthuli was committed to providing quality education to African children and led the Teachers' College at Adams where he trained aspiring teachers and travelled to different institutions to teach students.


Albert Luthuli later became the president of the association in 1933.


Albert Luthuli described the purpose of the society as the preservation of what is valuable to Zulu culture while removing the inappropriate practices and beliefs.


Albert Luthuli then founded the Natal and Zululand Bantu Cane Growers' Association, where he served as chairman.


Albert Luthuli believed that whatever political role he took part in, the stubbornness and hostility of the government would prevent any significant progress from being made.


In 1933, Albert Luthuli was asked to succeed his uncle, Martin, as chief of the Umvoti River Reserve.


Albert Luthuli opted for the role of chief and stated that his motivations were not driven by a desire for wealth, fame, or power.


Albert Luthuli commenced his duties on January 1936 and would continue until he was deposed by the South African government in 1952.


Albert Luthuli embraced the concept of Ubuntu, which emphasized the humanity of all people, and governed with an inclusive and democratic approach.


Albert Luthuli believed that traditional Zulu governance was inherently democratic, with chiefs obligated to respond to the needs of their people.


Albert Luthuli improved their economic status by allowing them to engage in activities such as beer brewing and running unlicensed bars, despite the government prohibiting these practices.


The Hertzog Bills were introduced a year after Albert Luthuli was elected chief and were instrumental in the restriction and control of Africans.


Albert Luthuli viewed the conditions of Groutville as a microcosm that affected all black people in South Africa.


In 1946, after John Dube's death, Albert Luthuli became a member of the Natives Representative Council through a by-election.


Albert Luthuli brought his long-standing grievances about insufficient land for African people to the NRC meetings.


Albert Luthuli accused the government of disregarding African complaints against their segregationist policies, and African councilors adjourned in protest.

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Albert Luthuli frequently addressed the criticism from his fellow black South Africans who believed that serving in the Native Representative Council would lead to nothing but talk, and that the NRC was a form of deceit served by the South African government.


Albert Luthuli often agreed with these sentiments, but he and other contemporary African leaders believed that Africans should represent themselves in all structures created by the government, even if only to change them.


Albert Luthuli was determined to take the demands and grievances of his people to the government.


However, like others before him, Albert Luthuli realized that his efforts proved futile in the end.


However, Albert Luthuli had no prior knowledge of this planned campaign and only found out about it as he was travelling to Bloemfontein, where the ANC's national conference was held.


The outbreaks were not a planned part of the campaign, and many, including Albert Luthuli, believe it to be the work of provocateur agents.


Albert Luthuli refused to choose, and the government deposed him as chief in November 1952.


In December 1952, Albert Luthuli was elected president general of the ANC with the support of the ANC Youth League and African communists.


The ANCYL's support for Albert Luthuli reflected its desire for a leader who would enact its programmes and goals, and marked a pattern of younger, more militant members within the ANC ousting presidents they deemed inflexible.


Albert Luthuli led the ANC in its most difficult years; many of his executive members, such as Secretary-General Walter Sisulu, Moses Kotane, JB Marks, and David Bopape were either to be banned or imprisoned.


Albert Luthuli was restricted to small towns and private meetings for the rest of 1953.


In mid-1954, following the expiration of his ban, Albert Luthuli was due to lead a protest in the Transvaal against the Western Areas Removals, a government scheme where close to 75,000 Africans were forced to move from Sophiatown and other townships.


Albert Luthuli viewed the multiracial organisation as a way to bring freedom to South Africa.


Albert Luthuli was not able to attend the Congress of the People or the framing of the Freedom Charter due to a stroke and heart attack as well as the banning order that confined him to Groutville.


Albert Luthuli was one of 156 leaders who were arrested on charges of high treason due to their opposition to apartheid and the Nationalist Party government.


Anti-apartheid activists were often accused of being communists, and Albert Luthuli was accustomed to such accusations and frequently dismissed them.


The pre-trial examination concluded in December 1957, resulting in charges being dropped against 65 of the accused, including Albert Luthuli who was acquitted.


The impression that Albert Luthuli made on the foreigners who came to observe the trial led him to be suggested for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Albert Luthuli received a fine of 100 pounds and a sentence of six months in jail, which was suspended for three years under the condition that he was not found guilty of a similar offense during that time.


Albert Luthuli did not support an armed struggle as he believed the ANC members were ill-prepared without modern firearms and battlefield experience.

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In October 1961, during his most severe ban yet, Albert Luthuli received the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first African to win the award.


Albert Luthuli was awarded the prize for his use of nonviolent methods in his fight against racial discrimination.


Albert Luthuli's name was supported by Norwegian Socialist MPs who nominated him in February 1961.


In Groutville, journalists lined up to interview Albert Luthuli who dedicated the award to the ANC and expressed gratitude to his wife Nokukhanya.


Albert Luthuli used his newfound status as a global podium, and he pleaded to the UN and South Africa's trading partners to impose sanctions on Verwoerd's government.


Albert Luthuli went on to speak of how the "true patriots" of South Africa would not be satisfied until there were full democratic rights for everyone, equal opportunity, and the abolition of racial barriers.


The day after Albert Luthuli returned to South Africa from the award ceremony, uMkhonto we Sizwe launched their first operations on 16 December 1961.


Albert Luthuli still had to apply for permission to receive the prize in Oslo, Norway on 10 December 1961.


Volksblad argued the way Albert Luthuli had "grasped every opportunity to besmirch South Africa was shocking".


In September 1962, King and Albert Luthuli had issued the Appeal For Action Against Apartheid organised by the American Committee on Africa, which boosted solidarity between the anti-apartheid and civil rights movements and urged Americans to protest apartheid through nonviolent measures such as boycotts.


Albert Luthuli desired to meet Harrison after learning of his painting and its significance, and the Norwegian Embassy arranged a visit for Harrison to Albert Luthuli.


Unlike the previous ban, the new ban prevented Albert Luthuli from travelling to the closest town of Stanger until 31 May 1969, had he not died before then.


Albert Luthuli later flew by helicopter to Groutville to visit Luthuli where they discussed the anti-apartheid and civil rights movements.


Albert Luthuli was already weak when I returned to Groutville [from the farms in Swaziland] in 1966.


Albert Luthuli got depressed when something went wrong in the house.


Albert Luthuli's feelings had run high because of the treatment he received from the police.


The fact that he drafted and signed his will immediately before his hospitalization raise doubts about the common belief that Albert Luthuli was in good health leading up to his death.


On Friday 21 July 1967, Albert Luthuli left his house at 08:30 and informed his wife that he would be walking to his store near Gledhow train station.


Albert Luthuli grew sugar cane half a mile away from the Umvoti River railway bridge, and since 06:30, two men and a woman were working in his field.


Around 10:00, Albert Luthuli left his store and told his store employee that he was going to his field, and would return later.

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Forty minutes later Albert Luthuli crossed the river again to return to his store without having met with any of his field workers.


On his way back to his store, Albert Luthuli was struck by a goods train.


Albert Luthuli said that [tomorrow] he wanted to go and see how the cane workers were progressing.


The driver indicated in his testimony that he blew the whistle from the time he saw Albert Luthuli walking towards the train until the train hit him.


The driver and the fireman left the train and attended to Albert Luthuli, who was still alive and breathing despite having received head injuries.


Albert Luthuli was brought to Stanger Hospital at approximately 11:50, where the Senior Medical Superintendent described his condition as "semi-conscious" and "bleeding freely" due to injuries sustained to his head.


At Stanger Hospital, Albert Luthuli's condition started to deteriorate despite treatment.


Albert Luthuli found Luthuli in a coma not responding to stimulation.


Sadly, Albert Luthuli had long since been considered obsolete by leaders of his own movement and he had little contact with those imprisoned, banned or exiled.