Chief Albert Luthuli’s achievements and awards were plentiful. They were conferred upon him from all over – South Africa, Africa and Norway.

The following is a selected list of the details relating to these prestigious achievements:

Honorary Doctorate of Literature University of Algiers, Africa 30 November 1964

Chief Albert Luthuli was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Literature by the University of Algiers. The honorary Doctorate of Literature was awarded to Chief Albert Luthuli in acknowledgement of this contribution to the struggle for freedom and human rights.

The then deputy-president of the ANC, Oliver Tambo commented that

“this great gesture will be very deeply appreciated as much by Chief Luthuli as by all African people, their fellow-oppressed and their supporters in South Africa. It will be acclaimed in Africa and abroad”.

1960 Nobel Peace Prize Nobel Peace Institute, Oslo, Norway 10 December 1961

Chief Albert Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 1960, an internationally recognised award for his contribution to human rights and peace building. Chief Luthuli was the first ever African to be awarded the Peace Prize for the category of human rights.

On the 23rd of October 1961 Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli received news from his wife and good friend, E.V. Mahomed that he was the recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize for Peace.

His colleague and good friend Masbalala Bonnie Yengwa wrote a Praise Song for Luthuli’s award:

“…The great bull that enemies tried to fence in a kraal
Has broken the strong fence and wandered far.
As far as oslo!
Nkosi yase Groutville! Nkosi yase Afrika!
(Chief of Groutville! Chief of Africa!)
Nkosi yase world!”

Christopher Gell Memorial Award PE South Africa 21 October 1961

The Christopher Gell award was awarded to Luthuli in 1961, for his contribution towards outstanding social justice. However, being banned, Luthuli could not accept the invitation to be present at the ceremony but he sent a memorial address to be read to the people of Port Elizabeth. As Chief Luthuli put it, “I have sent my address. I have not been allowed to travel to you by the authorities that be, lest I contaminate you with my presence”. Masabalala Yengwa received the award on behalf of Chief Luthuli to a mixed gathering of about a hundred and fifty people at the function. Mr Gell was a writer from Port Elizabeth and Chief Luthuli suggested in his address that the works of Mr Gell, who died in 1958, be preserved for posterity, and that his writings and letters be collected and published in book form.

“I am deeply grateful to the members of the Christopher Gell Memorial Award Committee for giving me this unique opportunity to participate so prominently in the remembrance of his memory. Let me at the outset thank the Committee from the bottom of my heart for the high honour bestowed on me by making me the recipient of the Christopher Gell Award”. – Chief Albert Luthuli, 21 October 1961.