The role and career of Chief Albert Luthuli in the fight against apartheid

The role and career of Chief Albert Luthuli in the fight against apartheid
  • He was born in a mission near Bulawayo in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1898.
  • Luthuli spent most of his early live at Grantville Mission in Natal after his parents had moved from Zimbabwe




  • After graduating as a teacher in 1917, Luthuli spent most of his time as a devoted Christian at Natal Mission.
  • He taught at Adams College from 1020 – 1935
  • In 1935, the government made him the Umvoti chief of the Zulu with the responsibility over 5000 fellow Zulu.
  • As a chief Luthuli was in a position to know the problem facing his fellow Africans in reserves. For example shortage of land,famine,etc
  • 1945, Luthuli joined the A.N.C as a step to solve the problems of his people.
  • In 1952 Luthuli participated in the non – violent demonstration against the pass laws and segregation of Africans at all public place.
  • In 1952 still, the government become annoyed of his activities in the ANC and called upon him to resign from either the chieftainship or the Congress. But he refused to do either and the government removed him from the chieftainship.
  • In 1953 Luthuli replaced Moroka as a new National president of the A.N.C.
  • Luthuli used peaceful approach in demanding for rights. But the government reacted by banning him from making any public meeting.
  • He organized boycotts against the Bantu education Act.
  • After the years of his restriction by government had ended in 1954, two years period of restriction was added. He was restricted on his farm at Troutville in Natal.




  • In 1956 at the close of his second ban, together with his family left for a holyday in Swaziland
  • On coming back from the holiday , Luthuli was arrested and put in prison but was soon released
  • From prison Luthuli got great support from different political parties who were all involved in the fight against apartheid.
  • Luthuli organized the Alexander township bus boycott against a penny rise in the bus fee on certain routes. This strike lasted for a bout three month and succeeded because the bus companies to reduce the fares.
  • He also organized a potato boycott which was organized to protest the poor working conditions of the Africans on Europeans farm. For example the Africans long for long hours, give a bad diet and used sacks as uniforms.
  • In 1959, the government again imposed restrictions on Luthuli for the period of five years. This was because of his growing popularity.




  • On 5th December 1961, he was given a Nobel peace prize for his attempt to promote a peaceful society.
  • Luthuli slowly turned to the violent means to achieve the objectives of ANC

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