Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe

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Politival activist and health practitioner

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Date of birth: 
27 July 1927
Location of birth: 
Hlobane,KwaZulu Natal

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe was born on 27 of July 1927 in Hlobane village, Kwazulu- Natal, South Africa. On 6 June 1954 she got married to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe in a traditional African wedding where she received the traditional bridal name of Nosango. Together they had four children Miliswa, Dinilesizwe, Dalindyebo and Dedanizizwe.

Mama Sobukwe, also known as “The mother of Azania,” played an important role in the liberation struggle and her life was hornoured by the sage Eskia Mphahlele with a poem entitled “Tribute to Zodwa Veronica, A Great Woman.”

In her capacity as a wife, a health practitioner, and an activist, Mama Sobukwe wrote several letters requesting meetings with officials regarding the conditions surrounding her husband while he was in jail on Robben Island. She challenged the apartheid regime government, demanding her husband to be released by the then Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger and then Prime Minister B.J Vorster, but the meetings were not honourned. She also appealed to Vorster to grant Mr Sobukwe and his family permission to leave South Africa but Vorster refused.

In 1997, Mrs Sobukwe appeared before Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to discuss the issue of her husband being fed food with glass while in confinement.

On 27 July 2017, Mama Sobukwe celebrated her 90th birthday.

Last updated : 25-Apr-2018

This article was produced for South African History Online on 27-Jul-2017