Winnie Madikizela-Mandela remembered on what would have been her 84th birthday - 'She was an icon'
South Africans celebrated the life of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and her contribution to the fight for freedom on what would have been her 84th birthday on Saturday.
Madikizela-Mandela died in April 2018 in the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness.
The ANC hosted Heritage Day celebrations in honour of Mam'Winnie over the weekend. The celebrations were held in Orlando West in Soweto, where Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo delivered a keynote address.
“This year Heritage Day is celebrated under the theme 'Celebrating SA's living human treasures'. Mama Winnie is one such human treasure and an icon of our struggle whose legacy continues to live and inspire millions of people in the country and across the globe,” the ANC said in a statement.
Human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu shared some of her fond memories of Madikizela-Mandela in an interview with Newzroom Afrika. She said she would have spoken against the abuse of women's rights.
"She was a passionate gender activist and asserted her rights as a woman to be treated equally as any man. She was very unapologetic about her strident politics at a time when conformity was required from everybody," Sisulu said.
Actress Ayanda Borotho shared clips from Madikizela-Mandela's past interviews in which she spoke about her upbringing and how it prepared her for the fight against the apartheid regime, and her marriage to former president Nelson Mandela.
“You are the epitome of all we could be but aren't allowed to be. You are all the broken pieces of us, yet every piece of you completes us,” reads an excerpt from her caption.
LISTEN | Process to rename William Nicol Drive after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has begun
View this post on Instagram
You are the opitime of all we could be but aren't allowed to be. You are everything we are not yet claim to be. You are all the broken pieces of us yet every piece of you completes us. Though denied what you were owed, here we are owing all of us to you. RISE IN POWER MAMA. Sisancela namanje🖤 Happy Birthday. #WeHaveNoFear #WeFightLikeWeAreAlreadyDead
Here's a glimpse into some messages shared on Twitter:
Happy Birthday Winnie Mandela. After doing a deep dive in the research I know even more your significance & contribution to the freedom of African people. You are remembered and saluted. True Black Woman leadership.— Jahi (@HipHopEducate) September 27, 2020
We miss you Mama. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made to see our country liberated. You were harassed, detained & tortured. Yet, you never retreated. Happy birthday Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Rest In Power and Rise in Glory pic.twitter.com/nwbHqPRfqL— Pat Kumalo (@KumaloPatricia) September 26, 2020
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela— Greg Carr (@AfricanaCarr) September 26, 2020
The one we loved
The one they hated
The one who stood straight
The one they never stopped trying to break
You achieved your last victory on this earth and
Welcome new Ancestors with love
And feed our strength
“I had been taught by my mother & my father that I must walk tall. I am me; I am Black; I must be proud of blackness...I am going to walk tall.”— Tshepo Madlingozi (@TshepoMadlingo1) September 26, 2020
(Excerpt from The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela by Sisonke Msimang)
Happy birthday Mama pic.twitter.com/nZB3DaAwZS
As we commemorate the birthday of uMama Winnie Mandela✊— Mohapi Setenane (@MohapiSetenane) September 26, 2020