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Adelaide Tambo

Adelaide Frances Tambo
Born (1929-07-18)18 July 1929
Top Location, Vereeniging[1]
Died 31 January 2007(2007-01-31) (aged 77)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality South African
Occupation Anti-Apartheid activist, politician
Known for Anti apartheid activist
Spouse(s) Oliver Tambo

Adelaide "Mama" Tambo (18 July 1929 – 31 January 2007) was a prominent anti-apartheid activist, political exile, and regarded as a hero of the liberation struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Born as Adelaide Frances Tshukudu, she was affectionately known as Mama Tambo in South Africa. She was involved in South African politics for five decades and was married to the late Oliver Tambo, president of the African National Congress (ANC), from 1956 until his death from a stroke in 1993. They had three (3) children; one of whom, their son, Dali, is a television talk-show personality.

Following the end of apartheid, she served as a member of parliament from 1994 to 1999.[2]

Adelaide Tambo received the Order of the Baobab in Gold, one of the highest honours bestowed by the post-1994 South African government.[3] The South African Anglican Church awarded her the Order of Simon of Cyrene, the highest award given to laypeople for distinguished service.[4]

Tambo died on 31 January 2007, aged 77 at her home in Johannesburg, South Africa from undisclosed causes.[5]

She was buried next to her husband in her home town of Wattville on 10 February 2007. The service was held in a stadium and led by Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane. Among the thousands of mourners were presidents Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.[4]


  1. ^ "Adelaide Tambo". The Independent. 
  2. ^ "Struggle hero Adelaide Tambo dies". News24. 1 February 2007. 
  3. ^ "Profile of Adelaide Tambo". Retrieved 1 February 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Anti-apartheid stalwart mourned", BBC News Online, 10 February 2007
  5. ^ "'"ANC mourns 'heroine of the nation. IOL. 1 February 2007. 

External links

Further reading

  • Short biography of Adelaide Tambo on
  • PBS interview with Adelaide Tambo about Nelson Mandela.
  • Adelaide Tambo's political profile on the website of the ANC.

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