Winnie Mandela - Mother of the Nation


"Were you not afraid?”

"Yes, I was afraid in the beginning. But then there is only so much they can do to you. After that it is only death. They can only kill you, and as you see, I am still here.”

Winnie Mandela (born 1936), South Africa's first black professional social welfare worker, chose service to needy people and devotion of her energy and skill to the struggle for equality and justice for all people in South Africa.

After her marriage to Nelson Mandela in 1958 she suffered harassment, imprisonment, and periodic banishment for her continuing involvement in that struggle. In 1992, the marriage ended. In 1993, Winnie became president of the African National Congress Women's League, and in 1994, she was elected to Parliament. She was re-elected to Parliament in 1999, but resigned in 2003.

The person the world knows as Winnie Mandela began life as Nomzamo ("she who strives," "she who has to undergo trials") Winifred (Winnie) Madikizela, daughter of Columbus and Gertrude Madikizela. Members of the Madikizela extended family were Xhosa-speaking people of the Pondo nation situated in what is today the so-called homeland nation of the Transkei.

I could write 100 blogs and still not be able to tell this amazing woman's story I implore you all to try and read some of the below:

Biographies of Nomzamo Winnie Mandela provide complementary coverage of her personal and political life. Winnie Mandela, Mother of a Nation by Nancy Harrison (London, 1985) is a narrative biography; Part of My Soul Went with Him is a compilation of interviews with Winnie Mandela and persons close to her, edited by Anne Benjamin and Mary Benson (1985);Current issues appear in The Economist May 10, 1997;

For background on the political struggle within South Africa readers may also wish to consult the following: Mary Benson, Nelson Mandela, Panaf Great Lives(London, 1980); and Tom Lodge, Black Politics in South Africa Since.

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