Obituary of Clarice “Clarry” Lulama Duma

Clarice “Clarry” Lulama Duma was born on 20 September 1962 in Johannesburg to Kitty Duma (née Gwele), a community development administrator, and Enoch Duma, a journalist and professor. She was the eldest of four daughters.

Clarry’s early childhood and education was spent in Dobsonville, Soweto. During her teenage years, she attended Inanda Seminary in Durban and matriculated in 1979. The following year, the family was forced into exile in the US and lived there for 21 years. During this time, Clarry was active in the anti-apartheid movement and educated Americans about the atrocities faced by black South Africans.

In 1985, she graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelor Honours in Cultural Anthropology. She devoted her career to the public sector, starting with a role in research and analysis in the Minnesota Governor’s Office of Science and Technology. In 1989, Clarry earned a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. From 1988-1998, she worked as a Foundation Executive at Neighborhood Housing Services of America, an NGO dedicated to affordable housing solutions.

In 1998, she completed a second Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University- East Bay. That year she was appointed as a Senior Legislative/Policy Analyst at the Office of the Legislative Analyst in San Francisco, California. She remained in this position until 2001.
She then relocated to Johannesburg, and soon thereafter worked at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. From 2003-2009, Clarry worked at the Gauteng Provincial Government as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Premier, where she played a key role in the lead up to the Gautrain Project and the Maropeng Visitor Centre in the Cradle of Humankind. For the next six years, she was the Managing Director of Como Blue, a business and management consultancy.

In 2016, she joined the South African Human Rights Commission as Head: Commissioners’ Programme. In 2017, she was appointed as Deputy Director General: Corporate Management at the National Department of Tourism.
She lived a life of service and dedicated her time and talent as a volunteer in poverty alleviation and educational organisations, a board member in the managerial leadership sector, and a member of the parish council and parish ministers at St Michael’s Anglican Church, Bryanston.

Clarry loved the arts, reading, travelling, music, dancing, cooking, nature and living a healthy lifestyle. She loved spending time with family and friends.
She was a great public speaker, had a charitable heart, a wonderful sense of humour, modelled grace under fire, and possessed strong negotiation and peace building skills. Above all, Clarry was deeply rooted in her faith and lived a life of devotion and gratitude to the Lord.
In 2018, Clarry was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment. After a period of illness, met with great fortitude, she died peacefully and departed on 07 November 2020 to be with her Lord.

Clarry is survived by her father and three sisters – Babs, Shirley and Ntsumi – and two beloved nephews – Nile and Nova. She also leaves behind many colleagues, friends and family members throughout the world.
Lala ngoxolo Mthombeni!
Soweto Sunrise News

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