Albert John Luthuli

Albert John Luthuli

Albert John Luthuli, born in year 1898 was well known as Zulu. He was the third son of Seventh Day Adventist missionary John Bunyan Luthuli and Mtonya Gurnede. He was born near Bulawayo in Rhodesia it was called at that time. After the death of his father, his mother returned to her ancestral home of Groutville in KwaDukuza Natal South Africa. He was brought up by his uncle Martin Luthuli who was elected as the chief of the Christian of Zulu at that time.

 Albert John Luthuli became a South African teacher and a politician when he grew up as he followed the footsteps of his uncle. Later, he was also made the chief of his tribe and the President General of the African National Congress. He was the leader of ten million Africans who were involved in the non violent campaign for their civil rights in South Africa. Albert John Luthuli was a noble man and he possessed qualities like bearing, charitable, intolerant of hatred, adamant in his demands for equality and peace among all men.

Born: 1898, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Died: July 21, 1967, KwaDukuza, South Africa
Party: African National Congress
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights
Books: Let My People Go: An Autobiography

Personal Biography

Luthuli was considered to be an heir of their traditions of tribal leadership. His grandfather was the chief of a small tribal at Groutville and he was later succeeded by his son. Albert’s father was the younger son who became the Christian Missionary and spent most of his time in missions. Albert was supported by his mother for education. So, he went to the local Congregationalist mission school for his primary education. He later went to a boarding school called Ohlange Institute for two terms and later was transferred to a Methodist Institution at Edendale. He pursued his career as a professional educator and later became the President of the African Teacher’s Association. He got married to a fellow teacher in the year 1927 and they together established their permanent home in Groutville. Albert has seven children. Later he was asked to take the post of Chief of their tribe which he resisted earlier but took it after some persuasion. He had to give up all the financial security he afforded to lead the tribal people. For 17 years he devoted his life in acting as a government for the tribal people and mediating functions so that they seek a better life from their current life.


After completing his Higher Teacher’s Training Course at Adams he took the career of professional educator in order to support her mother financially. He worked as an educator for 15 years. Later he realised that education should be available for to all Africans and that too it should be liberal not narrowly vocational in nature and that its quality should be equal to the one given to others. Later in 1928 he became the secretary of the African Teacher’s Association and in 1933 he was chosen to be the President of the same. He was also taken as the chief of the tribe and he accepted the same in the year 1936. Till the year 1952 before the restriction came up that were imposed by the government, he was the leader of the tribe for almost 17 years and did all possible things to make their life better and educate them. In 1944 Albert joined the African National Congress in order to work under the objective to secure the universal enfranchisement and the legal observance of human rights. In 1945 he was elected to the committee of the Natal and in 1951 to the presidency of the division. For almost 15 years before Albert died he worked day and night for the human rights of the tribal people of Africa. Soon after he was elected the president of African National Congress the government imposed ban on him for 3 to 4 times and he was put in jail during those bans.

Achievements & Awards

Some of the achievements and awards recognition given to Albert John Luthuli are as follows:

  1. He was elected as the President of the African National Congress.
  2. He became the Rector of the University of Glasgow.
  3. He got an Nobel Prize in the year 1960
  4. He led a Non Violent Struggle for Civil Rights in South Africa

Albert John Luthuli was a noble man who lived for others and fought for the civil rights of the tribe people so that there life gets better.


“I sin if I submit to the indignities that are hurled at me. I am a guardian of the divine and it is my duty to defend it.”

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