Lulu Dube was born in Inanda in 1931. She was the third child born to John Langalibalele Dube and Angeline (neè Khumalo) Dube and their last surviving daughter.

Her father, John, was instrumental in establishing the Ohlange school, which all of his children attended. The school started from first year (Grade 1) up to matric (Grade 12). In reminiscing about her school days, Lulu recounted that  “…there was an industrial school, some were doing shoemaking, sewing, there was almost everything. [John] was more interested in industrial subjects because he wanted people to learn to do everything by themselves and not expect charity from white people.” In connection with the Ohlange school, Lulu also remembered well-known people like BW Vilakazi who was a teacher and Manasseh Tebatso Moerane who was a principal.

John and his second wife Angelina Dube with (l to r) Nomagugu, Lulu, James Sipho and Douglas Sobanto.
Photographer unknown, but image from The First President: A Life of John L. Dube, Founding President of the ANC by Heather Hughes

She later attended Marian Hill high school and later became a nurse at McCord Zulu Hospital.

After her death, the ANC released a statement to say that the organisation was mourning her passing and paid tribute to her:

“As the current generation of leaders and members of the ANC, we are extremely fortunate to have had an opportunity to live side by side with such a rare breed ever produced by the liberation movement,” the statement read.

“Today we can see far primarily because we stand on the shoulders of giants, heroes and heroines for which Mama Lulu Dube was an excellent and exemplary member.”

She passed away in Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital on 26 May 2016. She is survived by three daughters, two sons and grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dube was buried alongside her parents in Ohlange in Durban’s Inanda area on June 4 2016.


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