Winnie Madikizela Mandela: A tribute to the Mother of a Nation
‘Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo’, when you strike a woman, you strike a stone.
Now that Winnie is gone, it is important that we do not allow the main stream media to taint her image, to demonise who she was and what she stood for. Winnie was a force to be reckoned with, and we all know that there is nothing more terrifying to the white supremacy system than an educated, cultured and fearless African woman.
Winnie Madikizela was born in 1936 in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Before Winnie met Nelson Mandela she was a social worker, she saw how black South Africans were treated in their own land by the white settlers, she saw the injustice, discrimination, lack of health and social care for the black south Africans, which resulted to her providing professional social service.
Winnie met Nelson soon after, and they got married in the 1950s, they were married for approximately 38years, Nelson was imprisoned for 27years during their marriage, so Winnie had no choice but to raise their children on her own. However Winnie Mandela was so much more than Nelson Mandela’s wife. After Nelson was jailed, Winnie took his baton and continued with the fight against apartheid, in fact Winnie’s contribution gave the fight a global recognition, she was so powerful, so fierce in her approach, that the south African police were terrified of her strength.
Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokod, when you strike a woman, you strike a stone, Winnie organised a system that empowered and educated black south African women, she educated and empowered the youths and the old. But again, the apartheid system couldn’t have an African woman so powerful to be so vocal and public, so she too was jailed for fighting against racism, injustice and apartheid. Even after she was eventually released from prison, and after South Africa gained democracy she continued her fight against an unjust system.
Below is a tribute to Winnie Mandela by the retired South African archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desod Tutu “She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists.”
Here are some of her kick-ass quotes, my favourite being her view on African patriarchy, “The overwhelming majority of women accept the patriarchy and protect it. Traditionally, the violated wife offloads her aggression onto the daughter-in-law. Men dominate women through the agency of women themselves.” and she is definitely unapologetic , “I’m not sorry. I will never be sorry. I would do everything I did again if I had to. Everything.”
One thing I have learnt from Winnie Mandela’s life and legacy is that when you stand for something, you have to stand for that thing a 100%, you have to give your all to protect it, you have to feed it love and be loyal to your call, to your passion. She walked and worked in purpose, Rest In Power Winnie Mandela ( The mother of a nation) She will be remembered for her fight against an inhumane system.