Tribute to Comrade Oupa Lehulere

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As youth, we always look forward to learning from our leaders and gaining as much information from them. That was the hope many young activists from different organisations had before hearing about the passing of one the most intelligent leaders of our time, Comrade Oupa Lehulere. Comrade Oupa was a teacher and mentor to many activists. His teaching method was better from the usual teaching methods enforced by the education system. He interacted with his audience and listened to them, He never made anyone feel inferior. He had a way of making people see thing in a different way, made one have in-depth understanding of the working-class struggles.

One of his employees Kgaogelo Leso (24), reflects on how he met Oupa. “I knew Khanya College through Equal Education, came in 2019 as a monitor for Jozi Book Fair. In 2021, I joined Khanya as a staff member.  I got to work with Comrade Oupa closely, which was a dream come true.”  He also recalls Oupa being a great father and mentor to the working class. During lockdown, they would have night session, editing videos and doing graphic work. “He would remind me about the importance of reading and understanding my work.”

Carmelicia Erasmus (23) says She found out about Khanya College through a friend and started working at Khanya College in 2021 as a monitor with comrade Maria and Oupa. “I generally was not interested in politics and discussing it but I got lured and intrigued by the amount learning that was taking place. I never worked close with comrade Oupa but saw the intellect he had and through this I’ve learnt that he was the kind of person who was always trying to encourage and allow people to be critics of situations and thought.” said Carmelicia

Those who knew him closely recall how he loved jazz music, good coffee, food and that he was a fan of H.I.E Dlhomo. He was a great author to others who have read his work. The working class has lost an icon but his memories will forever be with us through his work and the people he influenced. We hope that his beacon will be passed through from generation to generation.

This article was submitted as part of the Imbila Yesu publication produced daily for the duration of the Winter School in 2022 (17-22 July 2022). It appeared in Edition 1, released on 18 July 2022.

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