In the light of celebrating Women’s Month, The Rep sat with recently appointed Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality executive mayor, Luleka Gubula, who continues to defy the odds.
Gubula, who hails from Luthuthu in Sterkstroom, shared some of the pivotal moments in her life which had contributed to moulding her into the woman she is today.
Being the seventh child out of 11 siblings and born to illiterate parents, she was the first to matriculate and then furthered her studies at the University of Fort Hare. She obtained a bursary towards a Bachelor of Science in agriculture. She then joined the world of teaching and taught physical sciences and mathematics in Barkly East in 1993. In 2010 she was appointed principal at a junior secondary school in Sterkspruit and advanced to a senior secondary school as principal in 2014.
With her background in political activism, the mayoral position is nothing new to her as she had previously occupied the hot seat at the former Nkwanca Municipality. She has headed several EMLM portfolios including that of human settlements, finance and technical services.
“When I was 15 years old, I joined the Sterkstroom Youth Organisation and was among the pupils who were detained for 14 days without being charged following a township strike. In 1985 I became aware of politics.”
Gubula indicated that the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela was a source of inspiration, pointing out that her family and education contributed immensely towards her growth.
“The hope that things will change keeps me going. I want to make a mark, I want to be involved in transforming people’s lives because I believe that brings satisfaction and drives me to continue doing good for others. My background taught me how to understand different characters and how to share with others. I am hoping that EMLM will one day be politically stable so we can implement plans tabled in council. Plans that will lead us to become a prosperous municipality,” said Gubula.