In what could be deemed a momentous meeting of two historical greats, despite having a generation gap and being from completely different spheres, former World Surfing champion Shaun Tomson and Dr. Albertina Luthuli, eldest daughter of the first African Nobel Peace Prize winner Nkosi Albert Luthuli, shared deep insight into this country’s past, present and future.
At their first meeting last Thursday afternoon, the two philanthropists were kindred spirits intently reminiscing on the phenomenal characteristics of the great Chief Luthuli, whilst strolling arm in arm through the Albert Luthuli Museum, which was once the house in which he lived.
Albert Luthuli was instrumental in the struggle against apartheid and was allegedly killed in a train accident near Stanger in 1967. His relationship with struggle veterans, most notably Nelson Mandela have been well-documented internationally. Mandela was a protégé of the great Chief, who would often hide him from apartheid police in his home in Groutville.
Tomson’s visit to South Africa culminates with him spending 67-minutes at the Lethithemba Secondary School for the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July #LiveTheLegacy.
Shaun Tomson, the only South African World Surfing Champion and six times winner of the Gunston 500 in Durban, has spent the last week motivating local schools and organisations in the KwaDukuza region through the Positive Wave Tour driven by SMG Rocks and hosted by Coco De Mer as part of the 50th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong.
After visiting the museum, Tomson laid a wreath at the grave of Nkosi Luthuli. “I was simply bowled over by the Luthuli’s warmth towards me, and their heartfelt gratitude for my work in helping the local students overwhelmed me with emotion. It was deeply inspiring for me to hear stories of one of South Africa’s greatest leaders, especially some of the more personal stories that I had never heard before.The spirit of Luthuli spoke to me and I will be a better person because of my experience,” said Tomson.
“Shaun is an icon in our time. It is very inspiring to have shared these few precious moments with him today. The words that he shared are poignant with meaning as he not only understands the present, but the relevance of the past. I am so impressed with having a young white person who shares the same hope for South Africa as I yearn for, and the same hope that my father lived and died for,” said Dr. Luthuli.
Since retiring from professional surfing, Tomson, has been riding a wave of success around the world as a motivational speaker, author, journalist and businessman. He has made a huge impact on millions of young lives across the world with his book The Code: The Power of I Will, where he illustrates how people can change their lives in just twelve steps, each beginning with the words “I will…”.
All ten schools visited by Tomson during the Positive Wave Tour were invited to participate in an “I Will” Art Competition, to win a place as one of the schools to be selected to be a part of the Madiba Day 100 year celebrations.
A judging panel comprising of Shaun Tomson, Representatives from Department of Education – Ilembe District, KwaDukuza Municipality – Youth & Sports Unit, Ballito Pro Presented by Billabong team evaluated the artwork submitted by 7 schools. The top three schools to be featured on the social media campaign for the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong are Guzana Secondary (Ward 23), Imbuyiselo Secondary (Ward 1) and Nonhlevu Secondary (Ward 29). The public will have the opportunity to vote for the winning school, which will receive a prize of R10 000,00 from Capitec Bank.