Joseph Luke Culverwell
Joseph Luke Curlvewell .jpg
BornJoseph Luke Culverwell
10 July 1918
Died16 July 1993
Parirenyatwa Hospital
Cause of deathstroke
Resting placeNational Heroes Acre, Harare
Known forWar veteran, senator , and former Minister of State in the Presidents Office
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front

Joseph Luke Culverwell, was a Zimbabwean liberation fighter, psychologist and Former Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for National Scholarships and Former Deputy Minister of Education and Culture. He was a member of the 1980 Senate. He passed on in 1993. He was active in getting Zimbabwe to accept the threat of HIV and Aids, especially for the young population. .[1]

Personal Details

Born: Joseph Culverwell was born while his mother was on a short trip to South Africa from Bulawayo on 10 July 1918. Death: Culverwell passed on on 16 July 1993, in Harare. At the time of his death, he had a wife, four children, and eight grandchildren. He was laid to rest at Heroes Acre on 22 July 1993.

School / Education

He attended McKeurtan (Bulawayo) and Moffat (Arcadia, Salisbury), where there is now a street named after him) primary schools.
He went on to Trafalgar High School, in Cape Town.
He then graduated in Education and Psychology from the University of Cape Town and Nottingham University in the UK. [2]

Service / Career

He had a teaching career of 27 years, teaching in Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Iran and UK.

Involvement in Politics Pre-Independence

He served as a sergeant in the Second World War in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Egypt. After the war he became involved with the liberation struggle with such political veterans as George Nyandoro, James Chikerema and Joshua Nkomo. He actively participated in the inaugural meeting of the African National Congress of the Southern Rhodesia. He became a member of Zapu and after it was banned joined Zanu in the 1960s. Curvwell formed the National Association of Coloured Peoples in 1938 and he was elected secretary-general. He was imprisoned for 18 months in 1967 for political activities but subsequently taught in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and UK, supporting the liberation struggle and Zanu PF by obtaining clothes, medicines, and ambulances for war liberators fighting in this country. Culverwell supported Zimbabwean refugees by securing jobs, accommodation, and scholarships for exiles. He was a delegate both to the Geneva Conference and Lancaster House Agreement .[1]

Post- Independence

After independence, he was made a senator and deputy Minister of Education and Culture. In 1988 until 1992 he was made Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for National Scholarships. He then became Deputy Minister of Higher Education he left Parliament and Government in 1992. [1]


He often joked that he was a “pure Coloured”


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Our national heroes, , Published: 4 August 2011 , Retrieved: 2 February 2018
  2. [ Culverwell: A veteran teacher, psychologist ], , Published: 8 August 2012 , Retrieved: 5 February 2018