I AM WINNIE MANDELA
REGAL is a great word that can be used to describe Winnie Madikizela – Mandela. A warrior coupled with beauty is the woman that we are celebrating today. This is a story of a woman who saw injustice and made a decision- at the risk of her own well-being – to do something about it
I believe that Winnie Mandela’s fight throughout her life was not only against the system of Apartheid but also against the system of patriarchy. Like so many women today she was put in a box that was set to neutralise her and the power she carried but oh she pushed and beat against these walls that tried to put limitations on radicalism, to put limitations on the liberation of black women.
Winnie Mandela is (and I say is because we understand that she revolutionized womanhood) the woman that has given young South Africans girls a mind-blowing model of Black Woman Fearlessness. Her fight was grounded on her endless pursuit for the liberation of her people and she fought so well without compromising the goal and vision- making positive changes within the lives of her family and communities, therefore altering the trajectory of the South African nation and moving the world and humanity towards a better quality of life. She showed dimensionality of African women, she showed power and resilience.
She challenged time and time again the narrow degrading stereotypical narratives that were so prevalent throughout her lifetime forging a paradigm shift towards the way women are viewed. She has helped me unravel the societal messages that have affected how I viewed myself - messages that have told me that my gender and race were a burden. Even in her death, she is thriving, thriving to affirm the truth that was never affirmed before and through this, our voices are being amplified. Winnie Mandela fought for her own agency as much as she did for the agency of millions of women, the emancipation of South African women was constantly on her shoulders and I think it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t want it no place else. We have never found a braver champion than the Mother of the Nation.
To those who tell us to revive her and the memory of her in history, we roar and say “We Are Her Enduring Legacy” and we are all here for the Pro-African transformation that this woman has planted as a seed as young South African women stand up in the #IAMWINNIEMANDELA movement. We too shall fight back for the rights of all those who lack a voice.
Rest In Power Mama Winnie
Kutlwano Vanessa Mofolo