Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and ‘Mother of the Nation’. Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu was a political activist, nurse and born on 21 October into the Thethiwe family in a village called Xolobe in the. Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu (born ) was one of the most important women leaders of the anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa. She was a leader of the.

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After repeated detentions and torture, Lindiwe fled to Britain via Swaziland, where she pursued doctoral studies at York University.

She said she found these words inspirational, and this provides perhaps the best clue of what this truly remarkable human being was all about.

She had to stay out of school for long periods of time, which resulted in her being two years older than the rest of her class in her last year of primary school. Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu 21 October — 2 June [1] was a South African anti- apartheid activist, and the wisulu of fellow activist Walter Sisulu — A week later she was released.

The school’s routine was rigid and strict, pupils were woken up at 4am to bath and clean their dormitories, they would then proceed to the chapel for morning prayers. Throughout the long nightmare that enveloped her during the struggle years, she behaved with unflinching dignity, integrity, grace, courage and compassion. After seven months in solitary she was sentenced to four years, with two suspended. While visiting his sister, Walter Sisulu, a street-smart young estate agent passionately involved with the ANC, was introduced to Albertina, fell in love and began courting her.

While she was in solitary confinement in Diepkloof prison she was elected president of the Transvaal regional executive of the UDF, a huge vote of confidence as well as a warning to the state that her role would continue regardless. She never trumpeted her achievements, though, and was happily content to live in his shadow after his release from jail in In August she was arrested at her clinic, supposedly for having sung freedom songs at the funeral of a friend. Late one night she was told that her young child Nkuli had been taken to intensive care at Baragwanath Hospital with pneumonia.


The police wanted to know where her husband was. Max Sisulu’s wife, Elinor, wrote in In Our Lifetime, a biography of her parents-in-law, that what Albertina found hardest to bear was the persecution of her children. They threatened that she would be held for as long as it took to make her talk, and her children would be taken over by the state.

Each detention caused Albertina dreadful anxiety, particularly after her nephew, Kenneth Sisulu, died in custody. Her happy childhood ended when she was 11 with the death of her father, a miner, probably from the lung disease pneumoconiosis. Back home in Soweto rumours were planted that she was having an affair with a local grocer.

Albertina Sisulu lived what she believed

Views Read Edit View history. Now the cold hand of death has taken you and left a void in my heart. Adding to her agony, the censors delayed her and Walter’s letters to each other, which led to confusion, depression biogrqphy mutual recriminations when letters seemingly went unanswered. From till his murder inSisulu worked for prominent Soweto doctor, Abu Baker Asvat who allowed her to continue with her political activities while employed by him, and she was present when he was murdered.

When it didn’t, Albertina was widely accused of covering up for Winnie, a claim not borne out by the facts. She graduated from Mariazell College inand chose a career in nursing. Walter was arrested during albeertina police raid at the ANC hide-out at Liliesleaf farm while she was inside. The United Nations “strongly denounced” her imprisonment.

A bright, hard-working and conscientious student, she won a scholarship to attend Mariazell College, a Roman Catholic mission school in the town of Matatiele. In Sisulu left for Mariazell College in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape and although very nervous she was excited to find that a local girl from Xolobe was a prefect at Mariazell.


She worked with women from other racial communities, such as Jessie Duarte, who described her as “a one-woman political education course”. She liaised with Umkhonto weSizwe cadres, providing them with safe houses and co-ordinating their communication and supply systems. Although Sisulu’s scholarship covered her board and lodging, she had to pay it back during the school holidays by ploughing the fields and working in the laundry room.

Albertina Sisulu

At the first meeting of this parliament, she had the honour of nominating Nelson Mandela as President of the Republic of South Africa. Sisuul was a year of renewal and fighting state capture: Man fills up petrol tank using fake cash – then drives off! She decided that she would not marry but rather become a working professional so that she could support her family back in Xolobe. Western Australia until the midth century: After spending Christmas with her family in Xolobe she left for Johannesburg in January Please try again later.

Albertina Sisulu Centenary

At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. Sisulu’s mother survived the Spanish Flu, but was constantly ill and very weak because of this.

There were massive protests. She was also elected one of three co-presidents of the UDF. She took his advice to rather be a nurse. In Walter went underground, leaving her to cope as best she could with their children and the children of his sister, who had died during an operation. Two years later, she was arrested again and charged with treason.