Tributes pour in for arts luminary and ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza

07 December 2021 - 13:23
By Patience Bambalele
Poet, arts patron, cultural and political activist Lindiwe Mabuza died on Monday afternoon at the age of 83.
Image: Supplied Poet, arts patron, cultural and political activist Lindiwe Mabuza died on Monday afternoon at the age of 83.

uMkhonto we Sizwe veteran Mavuso Msimang has paid tribute to late arts luminary and ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza, describing her as a great poet who spread messages of hope and resilience during apartheid.

“She was very strong on women’s issues you could swear that she was a feminist. Lindi loved art and collected a lot of it all over the world. I met a number of people through her. She was a loving person who was loved by people. Since her passing, I have received messages of condolences from all over the world, especially Sweden.”

Mabuza died on Monday afternoon at the age of 83, the family statement said. The Struggle icon is survived by her daughter and grandchildren.

Born in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, Mabuza worked as an ambassador for SA in different countries including Malaysia and Germany. The established poet published five volumes of poetry, short stories and a children’s book. 

One of her poems, To Quincy, was published in Feminist Studies in 1995. She was also a co-editor of Oliver Tambo Remembered.

Mabuza cut her successful academic career short and joined ANC in 1975 where she became a journalist for Radio Freedom, which was based in Lusaka, Zambia.

Apart from fighting against apartheid, she was passionate about women issues which saw her being involved with the ANC’s feminist journal, Voice of Women, which gave women a platform to write poetry. From 1977 to 1979, Mabuza chaired the ANC cultural committee, and was instrumental in the Cultural and Resistance Conference of 1982, held in Botswana.

The family, through its statement, said Mabuza passed away peacefully in the company of her family.

“The family is grateful for all your prayers and outpouring of love during these past weeks while she has been receiving palliative care at home, where she wanted to be.

“We commend her beautiful soul to the heavens and we ask the Almighty Father to receive her soul into eternity. In light of the  Level 1 Restrictions and the stringent Covid-19 protocols, the family asks at this time that they be afforded the opportunity to make the necessary arrangements.”