Luthuli Museum

Online Catalogue

Sunday, 16 Dec 2018

Welcome Home! Chief Luthuli returns from Norway

Thursday, 15 December 2011 07:02 Published in Photographs

On 15 December 1961, Chief Luthuli and Nokukhanya returned to Durban from Norway where Luthuli had received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1960. Throngs of people greeted the Luthulis at every stage of their journey from the airport to Groutville.


The Nobel committee selected Luthuli to receive the award in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods.  In his acceptance speech, Luthuli said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”


The following day, 16 December 1961, bombs exploded around South Africa as part of the launch of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the newly formed armed wing of the ANC. Billy Nair contends that bombings were planned to occur the same night as Chief Luthuli returned from Oslo and that Luthuli was aware of this months prior to his departure for Oslo.

A. Luthuli receiving Nobel Peace Prize

Monday, 12 December 2011 07:47 Published in Photographs

On 10th December 1961, Chief Luthuli formally received the Nobel Peace Prize award for 1960. In his acceptance speech, Luthuli said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”


The Nobel committee had selected Luthuli to receive the award in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods. Luthuli had been nominated by 1952 Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Dr Fridtjov Birkeli, Bishop of Stavanger. An exhaustive investigation into Luthuli's character and achievements was undertaken by the committee at a local and international level before Luthuli was given the award.


The day following the award ceremony, Luthuli delivered his official Nobel Prize address in a packed University hall in Oslo, Norway. The title of his Nobel Lecture was "Africa and Freedom".

Chief Luthuli and Nokukhanya in Norway

Thursday, 08 December 2011 05:55 Published in Photographs

Three days after leaving their home in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal, Chief Luthuli and Nokukhanya arrive in Oslo, Norway, where Luthuli will receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 1960. He received a warm welcome and was shortly reunited with exiled ANC stalwarts, including Oliver Tambo and M B Yengwa, as well as international friends, including Mary Louise Hooper and John Reuling. After years of being marginalised and banned by the Apartheid Government, Chief Luthuli was suddenly in the international limelight and a hectic schedule of interviews, lectures, sermons and audiences with dignitaries ensued.


The Nobel committee selected Luthuli to receive the award in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods.  In his acceptance speech, Luthuli said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”

Luthuli leaves for Oslo

Tuesday, 06 December 2011 06:00 Published in Archives

After an unexpected 17 hour delay at Johannesburg airport, Chief Luthuli and Nokukhanya were finally able to board the 'plane to London. A crowd of 1,000 people bid them farewell and best wishes for their journey to Norway where Chief Luthuli would be awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize.


The Nobel committee selected Luthuli to receive the award in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods.  In his acceptance speech, Luthuli said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”

Chief Luthuli & Nokukhanya at Johannesburg Airport

Monday, 05 December 2011 09:45 Published in Photographs

On 5 December 1961, Chief Luthuli and his wife, Nokukhanya, departed their home in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal to embark on their long journey to Norway where Luthuli received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1960. They flew from Durban to Johannesburg where they were unexpectedly delayed overnight. They were not able to stay in a hotel and instead had to pass the night in the airport terminal in an area reserved for non-Europeans.


Chief Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, in 1961, in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods.  In his acceptance speech he said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”

Oliver Tambo na Oslo

Friday, 02 December 2011 06:11 Published in Archives

Die Burger newspaper reports that Oliver Tambo has arrived in Norway to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at which his leader, Chief Luthuli, will be awarded the prize for 1960. Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize in 1961 in recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods.  In his acceptance speech he said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”


Oliver Tambo and other prominent ANC exiles and international figures demonstrated their support for Luthuli by travelling to Norway to be part of his entourage. The South African Apartheid Government openly criticised the Nobel Prize committee on their selection and refused to honour Luthuli's award.


Oliver Tambo was a founding member of the ANC Youth League and, along with Luthuli, was arrested in 1956 on charges of treason but not formally charged during the 1956 Treason Trial. He went into exile in 1960 and only returned to South Africa after the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. He declined to stand for any position in the ANC and the position, National Chairman, was created in his honour. Tambo passed away on 23rd April 1993.

In recognition of his efforts to bring an end to racial discrimination and injustice in South Africa through peaceful methods, Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, in 1961.  In his acceptance speech he said “Our vision has always been that of a non-racial, democratic South  Africa which upholds the rights of all who live in our country to remain there as full citizens with equal rights and responsibilities with all others.”


In this seven page typed letter to family and friends, John Reuling, a close friend of Chief Luthuli, recounts his experience in Oslo, Norway, where he attended the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at which Luthuli received the prestigious award in person.


Contact the Luthuli Museum to gain access to the complete letter. See FAQs section for details or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Lutuli Nobel Speech Heard for First Time in S.A.

Friday, 04 November 2011 09:22 Published in Archives

Original article reporting on events at unveiling of Chief Luthuli's tombstone, five years after his death and funeral. Part of Luthuli's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech was played at the ceremony and this was the first time many people were able to hear it.

Albert Luthuli in sy afwesigheid gehuldig

Monday, 17 October 2011 17:13 Published in Archives

Report refers to difficulties faced by Luthuli in obtaining a passport from the Apartheid Government so that he could travel to Norway to receive in person the Nobel Peace Prize for 1960.

Oral History: Khatija Suleman (wife of Goolam Suleman)

Monday, 17 October 2011 17:12 Published in Audio Visual

Oral history interview with Khatija Suleman (wife of Goolam Suleman) and Barbara Wahlberg.

This interview takes place during the publication stage of the Suleman manuscript. Discussion subsequently focuses on relationships between Goolam Suleman and Luthuli and the two families. Seemingly banal details about day to day events such as Luthuli's choice of dress and food are brought to life during this interview.

Khatija also discusses the concern and worry she experienced when Luthuli, E V and her husband held secret meetings at Liberty Storess. She elaborates on the role Suleman played in supporting Luthuli's activities. The final section of the interview centres around the production of the manuscript by Suleman and Naidoo.

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