Oliver Tambo Schools Competition

Tambo 2Black History Month

School students in Haringey, north London, are being asked to ‘Make a Memorial to Oliver Tambo’ in a competition to mark the centenary of his birth in October. Tambo’s family lived in Haringey during their exile from South Africa.The competition is organised by Park View School in partnership with the AAM Archives Committee and Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), with support from Brand South Africa.

There will be prizes for three age ranges:

  • Key stage 2 primary school pupils: ages 7–11
  • Key stage 3 secondary school students: ages 11–14
  • Key stage 4 and 5 secondary/sixth-form/college students: ages 14–18
  • The memorial could be:
    •   a painting, drawing, frieze, wall-hanging, textile picture or bust
    •   a speech, poem or article
    •   a photo essay or very short film about Oliver Tambo’s life or key themes emerging from a study of him
    •   plans and publicity for a memorial event such as a festival or conference with features inspired by Oliver Tambo’s life and work
    •   a webpage or magazine dedicated to Oliver Tambo

Whole class and group entries are encouraged.

The following are useful resource links for finding out more about Oliver Tambo:

Major exhibition about Oliver Tambo from the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg:

Photo exhibition about Oliver Tambo’s role in building the global anti-apartheid movement:
(click ‘Oliver Tambo – Building the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement’ under ‘Borrow an Exhibition’)

Oliver Tambo interview on YouTube where he discusses his life under apartheid, and his political career (23 minutes):

Newspaper profile of Oliver Tambo, with a focus on his life in exile in Muswell Hill, Haringey:

Two short accessible summaries of the life of Oliver Tambo from the Biography.com and 'History in an hour' websites:

More detailed biography of Oliver Tambo 'His life and legacy' from South African History online:


Planning your competition entry

 The competition judges will be especially interested in how students link Oliver Tambo’s personal or political story to their own lives. This may involve exploration of a key theme such as living as a refugee in exile, links to local struggles for social justice today, the part played by international solidarity in ending apartheid or what lessons it has for us today.


The winners will be the entries that best demonstrate the significance of Oliver Tambo, and/or that inspire people to follow his values and/or have the greatest overall impact.

Entries must be clearly labelled with the name of the school; name and contact details of the teacher; and the name, year group and class of the students. Please submit all entries (making sure someone is there to receive them) no later than 4pm, Thursday 19th October to: Dan Lyndon-Cohen, Park View School History Department, West Green Road London N15 3QR.

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Each entry must be secure enough to be easily transported and stored. It is the school or college’s responsibility to deliver the entry to the contact and address given above. Although we will do our utmost to ensure entries can be collected after the prize-giving event, we do not guarantee their return.

Winning a prize

The prize for the winning entry for each age category is £100; other prizes include a visit to the Houses of Parliament, hosted by anti-apartheid activist and ex-government minister Lord Peter Hain. Schools and colleges submitting their students’ entries will be notified of winners and runners up by 5pm Monday 30 October. Prizes will be presented by Lord Peter Hain at a celebration event from 12–1pm on Thursday 2 November at Park View School. All prizewinners, their teachers and family members will be welcome. The winning entries will be displayed at Park View School on the day and other prominent venues.

For more information about the competition, or if you want to know about other events that may help you prepare your entry, please contact: Tim Spafford: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about Black History Month 2017, visit www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk