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‘Nokukhanya Luthuli as the First Lady of the ANC’
Public Dialogue Address Delivered by : Professor Jillian Kelly


Scholarship on the wives of the presidents of the African National Congress (ANC) has focused mainly on the most (in)famous, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and how she pushed against patriarchal expectations of “Mother of the Nation.” Others have shown the political nature of such women’s social work. This talk considers Madikizela-Mandela’s predecessor first lady of the ANC, Nokukhanya Luthuli, drawing on letters written by Luthuli in disparate archives and newspapers. The paper demonstrates how Nokukhanya was more than symbolic “Mother of the Nation,” working as an advocate for women, a ceremonial and diplomatic representative, and a political partner—promoting party platforms and keeping Albert Luthuli’s leadership and legacy alive when he could not.

Aug 31, 2021 03:00 PM in Johannesburg

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