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Erected in honour of South Africa's first Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the Luthuli Museum in KwaDukuza in the KwaZulu-Natal Province marks the life of Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli and his struggle to end apartheid through peaceful means. His efforts did not go unnoticed internationally and in 1960 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. United States Senator Robert Kennedy was to meet Luthuli in 1966 and was stirred enough to state in an article posted in the Look magazine: As I left the old chief, I thought of the lines from Shakespeare: "His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, this was a man!"
The interpretive centre at Luthuli Museum houses a small collection of documents that escaped banning throughout the apartheid years and one of Chief Luthuli’s original handwritten notebooks was recently donated, a true gem of a find for the museum. The notebook contains notes of his vision for freedom and outlook for the country. His home, a national monument, is part of the museum complex and is where he was regularly confined for political transgressions. Many covert late night meetings took place in this home that included clandestine visits by Nelson Mandela.
A well-known KwaZulu-Natal businessman has donated eight Ronald Harrison paintings to the museum. This artist was once arrested and tortured for his painting of a black Christ and the controversial painting is one of eight on display in a series of paintings titled ‘The Spirit of Chief Albert Luthuli’.
Albert Luthuli died in an unfortunate train accident in 1967 and, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, proved to the world that major change can be brought about peacefully.