Mam’Winnie’s memorial woke in me things I did not know I held

14 April 2018 - 15:23 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
The coffin arrives at Orlando Stadium for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral.
The coffin arrives at Orlando Stadium for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral.
Image: Ranjeni Munusamy

For someone whose truth I knew so little about‚ Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death has evoked a sense of "wokeness" in me that I never knew existed.

The tributes in her honour have warmed my heart. The reignition of her legacy has reigned supreme with women everywhere wearing black and power doeks. The honest conversations and revelations that came with her death made me realise that for some‚ death is rebirth.

It's been an eventful two weeks since she died with people in every place honouring her in their own way.

Today’s experience has been one with loaded sentiments. People attended the funeral service in the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on empty stomachs and with hopelessness etched on their faces - a reflection of where we are as a country.

Thousands gather at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on April 14 2018 to remember and pay tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

But her funeral was one to reckon with. It was a celebration for the people came to bid farewell to the Mother of the Nation.

The Economic Freedom Fighters and the African National Congress put their differences aside to celebrate the life of Mam’Winnie.

The memorial has been a humbling experience and a moment of awakening for those who believed that she was solely a woman of darkness.

Through this story‚ I was confronted with the full splendour of the power of a narrative. How beauty and darkness is but a result of narrative.

In this story I saw how deeply entrenched patriarchy and intolerance is in our society. 

There were tears, songs and fiery speeches as the nation bid farewell to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who was laid to rest in Johannesburg on April 14 2018.


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