Winnie Madikizela-Mandela remembered on what would have been her 84th birthday - 'She was an icon'

28 September 2020 - 09:22 By cebelihle bhengu
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela would have turned 84 on September 26. File photo.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela would have turned 84 on September 26. File photo.
Image: Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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

Here's a glimpse into some messages shared on Twitter: