The late anti-Apartheid and human rights activist Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was born Nontsikelelo Thethiwe in the village of Camama in the Tsomo district of South Africa’s Transkei region, on October 21st, 1918 Both Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu who she married in 1944 were born not to far from Albertina’s birth place Like Mandela, the name ‘Albertina’ came about as a result of Sisulu attending a colonial missionary school Affectionately referred to as ‘Ma Sisulu’ or ‘Mother of the nation’ by many South Africans, Albertina Sisulu trained as a nurse – one of the few means of employment for African women outside of domestic work In 1940 she left the Transkei for Johannesburg to begin her training as a nurse at a non-European hospital It was in the highly segregated and fast-paced urban ‘City of Gold’ that Albertina Sisulu experienced racism for the first time It was also here that she would meet the man who would become her life-long partner and the man that would introduce her to politics and the anti-apartheid struggle Walter Sisulu,Albertina Sisulu would go on to be involved in many anti-apartheid groups movements and events such as the ANC Women’s League the Defiance Campaign against pass laws for women and the Pietermaritzburg Treason Trial Her husband Walter Sisulu was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe the anti-terrorist armed wing of the ANC co-founded by Nelson Mandela and would later be imprisoned at Robben Island in the mid-1960s up until 1989 She would also along with Communist Party member John Nkadimeng, set up an underground cell to help ANC members leave South Africa for training and education in other parts of the continent and the world Her incredible instincts also helped the ANC weed out informants such as John Mavuso who had been leaking information about the ANC and this underground cell to the apartheid police,From her political involvement in the ANC that began in the late 1940s and despite being served several banning orders throughout her life up until her in 2011 Albertina Sisulu would serve as a prominent leader in the anti-apartheid struggle and the women’s liberation movement in South Africa winning several humanitarian awards In 1994 after South Africa’s first democratic elections both her and her husband served as members of parliament, and in the same year the pair celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sadly in 2002 Walter Sisulu passed away after collapsing in Albertina’s arms
Albertina passed away at the couple’s Linden, Johannesburg home on June 2nd, 2011


Brief history of the African Liberation Day

Agwambo Odera (Press release)—On 15 April 1958, in the city of Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first conference of independent African states It was attended by representatives of the governments of Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, The United Arab Republic (which was the federation of Egypt and Syria) and representatives of the National Liberation Front of Algeria and the Union of Cameroonian PeoplesThis conference was significant in that it represented the collective expression of African Peoples’ disgust with the system of colonialism and imperialism, which brought so much suffering to African people. Further, it represented the collective will to see the system of colonialism permanently done away with After 500 years of the most brutal suffering known to humanity, the rape of Africa and subsequent slave, which cost Africa in excess of about 100,000,000 of her children, the masses of African people singularly, separately, individually, in small disconnected groupings for centuries had said ‘enough!’ But in 1958, at the Accra conference, it was being said in ways that emphasised joint, coordinated and unified action. This conference gave sharp clarity and definition to Pan Africanism, the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism. The conference as well laid the foundation and the strategy for the further intensification and coordination of the next stage of the African revolution for the liberation of the rest of Africa, and eventual and complete unificationThe conference called for the founding of African Freedom Day, a day to ‘mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploration  Five years later after the first conference of independent African states in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia another historical meeting occurred On 25 May 1963, leaders of 32 independent Africa states met to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). By then more than two thirds of the continent had achieved independence from colonial rule. At that historic meeting, the date of Africa Freedom Day was changed from 15 April to 25 May and Africa Freedom Day was declared African Liberation Day African Liberation Day has since then been held on 25 May in every corner of the world African Liberation Day as an institution within the Pan African movement reflects the growth and development of Pan Africanism When Pan Africanism was faced with fighting colonialism, the focus of African Liberation Day was on the anti colonial struggle and the fight for national independence. As Pan Africanism grew stronger and developed into a more mature objective African Liberation Day activities reflected this maturation African Liberation Day has contributed to the struggle to raise the level of political awareness and organisation in African communities worldwide. It has further been used as a tool to provide a platform for many African and other oppressed peoples to inform the African masses about their respective struggles for true liberation and development Particularly for Southern Africa, African Liberation Day played a critical role in the defeat of colonialism and apartheid It inspired others to support through various progressive organisations, liberation committees and movements both in Africa and the socialist countries around the world, the building of anti colonial and national liberation movements by generating arms for the freedom fighters, offering a platform where the world could receive political education on the nature of the struggle, and providing a mass assembly where the spirit and moral of the freedom fighters could be reinvigorated. African Liberation Day has helped to expose US led imperialism, Zionism and colonialism as enemies of Africa Imperialists for decades have attempted to distance African Liberation Day (and the African Revolution in general) from the struggle for socialism. Remember that it was, and is, capitalist Europe, and not the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China or Vietnam which occupied, colonised and exploited Africa. Several states in Africa today stand independent because of military and other assistance from socialist countries From the first African Liberation Day held in Accra, Ghana where Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah planted the first seed to the hundreds of African Liberation Day observances which have occurred all over the world African Liberation Day stands committed to the struggle for national independence African redemption, African liberation African unification and scientific socialism Today, African Liberation Day activities are being organised throughout Africa and all over the world where African people are living and struggling. The journey down the revolutionary path can only be accomplished by joining a revolutionary organisation working for the people The freedom of Africa and African people demands revolutionary action through revolutionary organization