Afrocentricity International wishes to celebrate the anti-racist and freedom loving life of Mother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She was in her own right an international leader who always spoke up for African people. Her voice was clarion and her vision impeccable.
Her marriage to Nelson Mandela and her anti-apartheid activism meant that millions of South Africans came to refer to her as the “Mother of the Nation.” Clearly, she led the struggle to free Mandela and made his name a household word throughout the world. In her visits to African nations, Europe, and America she broadcast the brutality of the apartheid regime and gave anti-racists the battle cry “Free Mandela!”
For 27 years of her marriage to Nelson Mandela she was alone raising two daughters, but she never forgot the struggle for freedom for Nelson or for the nation. She had detractors both inside and outside of the anti-apartheid movement but no one can doubt her persistent passion for liberation. Winne Mandela was our Mother in Struggle against Oppression and we will miss her eloquent voice and undying love of freedom.
Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela kept alive the hopes of the masses and Nelson Mandela’s dream while he was a victim of the repressive minority regime. When the world saw her hand in hand with Nelson in l990 walking out of prison it was like a miracle as we sighed relief at his freedom and hers.
Winnie was hounded by the police, banned from Soweto, imprisoned time and time again, tortured by the authorities, banished to the desolate area of Brandfort where her house was twice bombed, yet she protested the pass system, fought against all restrictions to black people, and agitated in order to be able to visit her husband in prison where they were made to talk through a glass screen.
Winnie never left the forefront of the struggle vowing to fight as she would say “to the bitter end.” People gravitated to her as a symbol of resistance. All over the world we shouted her name, “Winne Madikizela” and knew that she was with us as we will always be with her. When South Africa became free it was Nomzamo Madikizela who stood out front of all freedom fighters as a beacon of hope. AI salutes her life and courage because “Unity is our Aim; Victory is our Destiny!”
Peraat Ama Mazama
Molefi Kete Asante, International Organizer, AI