The newly renovated Ballito civic building was officially opened last Saturday and named after Nokukhanya Luthuli, honouring her struggle in the fight for freedom and her strength as a woman.
After nearly five years, renovations to the civic building on Leonora Drive were completed in July.
The building is occupied by the KwaDukuza building control, town planning and finance departments.
During a ceremony on Saturday, the Luthuli family and KwaDukuza officials described Nokukhanya Luthuli, wife of former ANC president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Chief Albert Luthuli of Groutville, as a wife, mother and veteran who performed all her roles with passion and grace.
KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu said they wanted to honour this important ANC veteran.
“There were times where Chief Luthuli was frustrated and Nokukhanya encouraged him to continue. She was an educated teacher who focused on agriculture because she realised the importance of the sector.
“When our people in Groutville were robbed by the apartheid system to the degree that they did not even have addresses, mama Nokukhanya opened a post office from her own home so that people could communicate with their loved ones from afar. She was also the driving force that encouraged women to participate in political decisions in the ANC that make us who we are today.”
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Giving insight into her life, her daughter Dr Albertina Luthuli, said too often Nokukhanya was seen in the shadow of Chief Luthuli when she was in fact the wind beneath his wings.
“We are happy that my mother is being honoured in this way because the chief could not have achieved his success without her. She brought up three generations of people through hard work and educated all seven of her children to levels that were above average at the time.”
The ANC veteran described her mother as a woman of exceptional qualities who showed there was no shortcut to success. Just like Nokukhanya, she encouraged the youth to forge their own identity.
“She took it upon herself to get an education and paid for her school fees with money she earned by working as a domestic worker. This generation must know who they are and believe in their dreams the way she did. It is not only about relying on government all the time but about working hard. My mother was an entrepreneur, a pillar in her own right and an inspiration for years to come.”
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