Amid poetry and politics‚ Mama Winnie's family pay tribute to her at memorial

11 April 2018 - 11:31 By NALEDI SHANGE
Image: @MYANC via Twitter

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's official memorial service will be a blend of poetry‚ politics and tributes from her loved ones.

The venue for her official sendoff is the Orlando Stadium‚ located in the township that she for decades called home‚ despite the strife and upheaval that plagued the area during the struggle against apartheid.

Madikizela-Mandela's grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be among those who will honour the late stalwart on Wednesday.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s great-grandchildren pay tribute to her at her memorial in Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on April 11 2018.

The programme of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial service at Orlando Stadium, Soweto.
The programme of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial service at Orlando Stadium, Soweto.
Image: Supplied

Bambatha Mandela‚ Ziyanda Manaway‚ Zwelami Mandela‚ Zama Obiri‚ Zipho Manaway‚ Zazi Mandela‚ Ziwelene Mandela and Zankosi Manaway are listed on the official programme‚ which is to get under way at 11am.

Popular poet Mzwakhe Mbuli is also among the people who are to take to the podium‚ while the Soweto Gospel Choir is to provide musical entertainment.

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile and communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane are listed as the programme directors.

The sermon is to be delivered by Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church. Along with Steve Biko‚ he and his wife Thoko Mpumlwana were founding activists in the anti-apartheid Black Consciousness Movement. As general secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC)‚ Mpumlwana also became the voice of the religious community's criticism of former president Jacob Zuma.

The 40‚000-seater stadium‚ which is a stone's throw from Madikizela-Mandela's home in Soweto‚ is expected to packed to capacity and several overflow areas have been prepared.

Roads leading to the stadium have been closed off since the early hours of the morning and are expected to be re-opened only after 6pm.

Part of Madikizela-Mandela's obituary reads: "Mama Winnie was a proud black African woman who fought and persevered for her country against injustice. She knew it was a thankless job and did not endure the hardship in pursuit of any personal glorification but instead for the emancipation of her people."

The 81-year-old struggle stalwart died last Monday after a long illness for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

Madikizela-Mandela had two children with former president Nelson Mandela. According to her obituary‚ Madikizela-Mandela is survived by her children‚ eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.