1937 to 1989
South African clergyman and educationist who became the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cape Town and was known for his opposition to apartheid.
Naidoo was born on 23 October 1937 in Durban, Natal, to parents who came from India. He received his primary and secondary schooling in South Africa and was taught by Christian missionaries, before going to Britain for the Redemptorists' noviceship at St. Mary's, Kinnoull Hill, Perth. He then studied theology at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire.
Naidoo decided that he needed to learn Tamil also if he were to be able to do his work more effectively, so he spent some time in Bangalore, India, learning the language. After that he took a doctorate in Canon Law at the Dominican Angelicum University in Rome.
In 1968 Naidoo returned to South Africa after a period of teaching liturgy at Hawkstone. He immersed himself in church work, learning a lot about his country in the process, visiting households in African townships and observing first hand the problem of the Cape Town Colored and other minorities. The inequities of the apartheid regime became even more apparent to him and his stand against it, though it did not make headlines, but nonetheless firm.
In 1973 Naidoo succeeded Cardinal Owen McCann as the first "non-White" Archbishop of Capetown. He may not have being as outspoken in his opposition to apartheid as his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but he also became known for his vigorous denunciation of it. In April 1987 he teamed up with Tutu and others in St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral in a prayer service for detainees. At the time, there was a ban on "joint action" for detainees; Naidoo described the ban as a "manifest nonsense." He spoke on South African problems at the October 1987 Synod on the Laity in Rome, and achieved high profile exposure in the universal church. At the end of the Synod he was elected one of the three African representatives to the Synod board where he was said to have made a good impression with his courtesy and quick wit.
He died on 1 July 1989 at Merton Park in Surrey, England, after an attack of angina.
Elijah Olu Akinwumi
Sources Consulted Include:
* Africa Year Book and Who's Who (London: Africa Journal, 1977).
* Africa Today, first edition, (Denver, CO : Africa Today Associates, 1981).
* Africa Who's Who, first edition, 1981.
* Africa Who's Who, second edition, 1991 (published by Africa Books Ltd., U.K).
* Ralph Ewechue (ed.), Makers of Modern Africa, 2nd edition (London: Africa Books, 1991).
* Daily Times of Nigeria (Lagos).
* Nigeria Year Book, 1974, 1975, 1976-1978, 1979, 1980 (Lagos : Nigerian Printing & Publishing Co.).
* S. Decalo, Historical Dictionary of Togo, 3rd ed., (London : Scarecrow Press, 1996).
* Ralph Uweche, Africa Who's Who, 1991
(Lagos, Nigeria: Africa Book Ltd.).
* J. C. Choate, The Voice of Truth International, 1991,
Vol. 21 (U.S.A.)
* E. EL Hadj-Omar, Who's Who In Africa Dictionary.
* In the Land of the Pharaohs- An introduction to a 1968 case study by
Khalil Mahmud, 2nd ed., (London : Cass, 1968).
* L. H. Ofosu-Appiah, Dictionary of African Biography, volume on Ghana & Ethiopia,
volume on Sierra Leone & Zaire, (New York : Reference Publications, 1977-).
* Cyril P. Foray, Historical Dictionary of Sierra Leone (London : Scarecrow Press, 1977).
* Gailey H. A., A History of Sierra Leone.
* I. Geiss, The Pan-African Movement (London : Methuen, 1974).
* L. C. Gwan, Great Nigerians.
* E. Kay (ed.), Dictionary of African Biography (London : Melrose Press, 1971-1972).
* Pan-Vegio Patriot Macdonald- H. Edward Wilmot
* R. K. Rasmussen, Historical Dictionary of Rhodesia Zimbabwe (London : Scarecrow Press, 1979).
* E. Rosenthal, Encyclopaedia of South Africa, 7th ed., (Cape Town : Juta, 1978).
* S. Ramgoolam, Seychelles Government Annual Reports.
* S. Taylor (ed.), The New Africans (London : Paul Hamlyn, 1967).
* V. Thompson and R. Adlof, Historical Dictionary of Congo (London : Scarecrow Press, 1996).
* Times Newspapers Ltd; Obituaries from the Times (Volume 1, 1961-1970;
Vol.2, 1971- 1975)
* P. J. Vatikiotis, The History of Egypt, 3rd ed., (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985, c1969).
* H. Zell and H. Silver (eds.), A Reader's Guide to African Literature (London : Heinemann, 1972).
* H. Zell, C. H. Bundy and V. Coulon (eds.), A New Reader's Guide to African Literature, rev. ed., (London : Heinemann, 1983).
ARTICLES IN LEARNED JOURNALS
* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. V Nos. 2 & 3, 1970, (Adeleye, R. A.).
* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. VI Nos. 204, 1969, (Ekejiuba, F.).
* Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, "A Biographical Sketch," (Omu Okwei), (Ibadan : Ibadan University Press): Vol. III No 4, 1967.
* Journal of African History, (London : Cambridge University Press): Vol. V No 3, 194 (Hopkins A. G.).
PERIODICALS AND NEWSPAPERS CONSULTED
Africa (Tunis : Ministère des Affaires Culturelles et de l'Information, 1971 ff).
Africa Diary (Delhi : Africa Publications (India), 1961 ff).
Africa Research Bulletin (Africa Research Ltd), (Oxford : Blackwell, 1964 ff).
Ambassador International (Vol 211; 1985).
Commonwealth Currents (1978).
Guardian (London, s.n.).
Independent (London, s.n.).
The Times (London).
West Africa (London : West Africa Publishing, 1917).
This article, received in 2002, was researched and written by Reverend Dr. Elijah Olu Akinwumi, president of Missions Network Ministries International in Lagos, Nigeria, and 2003-2004 Project Luke fellow.