Oliver Tambo Biography, Education, Career, Death, Net Worth


Oliver Tambo was a South African activist, teacher, and anti-apartheid politician who served in the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991 as President. He died from stroke complications in April 1993, at the age of 75.

Oliver Tambo's death came two weeks after the assassination of Chris Hani, and just a year before the South African 1994 general election which saw Nelson Mandela emerge as president. 

Oliver Tambo Biography

Early Life

Oliver Reginald Kaizana Tambo, simply known as Oliver Tambo, was born on October 27, 1917, in Nkantolo, Bizana, Union of South Africa (a predecessor to the present-day South Africa) to Mzimeni Tambo and Julia Tambo. His father, Mzimeni, was an assistant salesperson and the son of a farmer, while his mother was the third of Mzimeni's four wives. 


Oliver Tambo started his formal education at the Ludeke Methodist School in the Mbizan district before attending the Anglican Holy Cross, a missionary school in the Eastern Cape, to complete his primary education. He then attended high school at St Peters College, in Rossettenville, where he graduated as one of the best students in 1938. This feat earned him a two-year scholarship of £20 from the University of South Africa, and a five-year scholarship of £30 from the Transkei Bhunga (Assembly of Chiefs). 

Oliver Tambo then went on to pursue a BSc degree at the College of Fort Hare (now known as the University of Fort Hare). He was however expelled in 1940, along with Nelson Mandela and several others, for participating in a student strike. 

In 1942, Tambo returned to St Peters College, the high school he graduated from, to teach mathematics and science. 


Oliver Tambo was an activist and anti-apartheid politician. In 1944, he founded the ANC Youth League along with Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, and in 1948, he became its first National Secretary as well as a member of the National Executive. 

Following the ban on Walter Sisulu under the Suppression of Communism Act by the South African government in 1955, Oliver Tambo became the Secretary-general of the African National Congress. In 1958, he became the president of the congress and a year later, he was banned by the South African government for five years. 

In March 1960, following his ban by the South African government, Tambo was sent abroad by the African National Congress to deploy opposition to apartheid. He settled in North London with his family.

In 1967, following the death of Chief Albert Lutuli, Tambo became the Acting President of the African National Congress. While in exile, he orchestrated various guerilla activities, and in 1985, he was re-elected as the President of the congress.

In December 1990, after over 30 years in exile, Oliver Tambo was able to return to South Africa, thanks to the legalization of the African National Congress. His return came with lots of support from South Africans including some of his old rivals. 

Prior to his return to South Africa, Tambo suffered a stroke in 1989. This limited his ability to function as President of the African National Congress, and in 1991, Nelson Mandela took over as President at the congress' 48th National Conference. 

Oliver Tambo Death

In April 24, 1993, Oliver Tambo died of complications from his stroke. His burial was attended by prominent politicians like Walter Sisulu, Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela. 

Oliver Tambo was buried in Benoni, Gauteng.

Oliver Tambo Parents

Oliver Tambo's parents are Mzimeni Tambo (father) and Julia Tambo (mother).

Oliver Tambo Siblings

Oliver Tambo had a total of mine siblings some of which were Willy, Wilson, Zakele, and Alan Tambo. 

Olive Tambo Net Worth

Oliver Tambo has a net worth of around $5 million. 

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