A tribute to the late struggle icon, Mam’Winnie Mandela

By Lebogang V.Ditsebe

Today we say goodbye to a woman who will be remembered  for her fight against the dreadful Apartheid regime.

Mama Winnie, according to history; was a passionate; articulate and charismatic strong woman who was incarcerated at the Women’s Jail at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg. After the Rivonia Trial, she became Madiba’s public face during the 27 years of his imprisonment. She also sacrificed three decades of her life during which she and uTata should have been free to go about their daily lives as a normal family.

The lessons we as young people can learn from her was her ethical leadership; the ability to choose what she believes is right within her moral compass and not waver because of being under pressure due to challenges or peer pressure because of people telling her to avoid being vocal as a woman. Her virtue, social activism, human rights activism and community activism sought to extend her role as mother of the nation in the liberation struggle.

Young leaders can keep the legacy going by having an independent mind. A mind without limits and a mind which is our own.We as the young people of our generation and leaders within our communities, need to spread ideas worth spreading and to bring solutions in our local communities, and always be considerate about the next person, not just of ourselves.

My fond memories of Mama Winnie was when she assumed the advisory role within the African National Congress as of recently. A true leader believes in influence more than she believes in position, she become an advisor, to many – young; dynamic leaders of different opposition parties – she was not confined to the African National Congress only; however she was truly the mother of the nation. The African National Congress remains her eternal political home – however she maintained her ability to speak direction to the various organisations across the board.

We are poorer without her, rest in peace Mama Winnie Mandela. May you rest in eternal honour, from the young people of this country and the world.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

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