The Sights and Sounds of Winnie Mandela

By Yebo, published on 18 May 2020

Did you know Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Xhosa Nomzamo means “She who tries”. She was born in the village of Mbongweni, in what is now the Eastern Cape province. She was the daughter of Columbus and Gertrude who were both teachers. Columbus was a history teacher and a headmaster, whileGertrude was a domestic science teacher.


Gertrude died when Winnie was only nine years old, resulting in the break-up of her family when the siblings were sent to live with different relatives, Madikizela-Mandela went on to become the head girl at her high school in Bizana.


She earned her degree in social work in 1956 after completing her studies at the Jan Hofmeyr School of social work.


In 1957, she met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela when he was still married to Evelyn Mase and they got married in 1958. Gave birth to two daughters Zenani and Zindiswa.


Winnie was a brave woman, she emerged as a leading opponent of apartheid during the latter part of her husband’s imprisonment. She fought for justice, freedom and expression and due to her political activities, the National Party government regularly detained her.

She was put under house arrest, kept under surveillance, imprisoned and banished to the remote town of Brandfort.


At Brandfort, she became known to the western world and in collaboration with an NGO known as Operation Hunger she formed a day care and a clinic with Dr. Abu Baker Asvat, her personal physician.


While in exile in Brandfort, she fought for equal rights and was promoted by the African National Congress (ANC) as a symbol of their struggle against apartheid and those who attempted to assist her, were harassed by the apartheid police.


This week in our Moments in Africa History we share the sight and sounds of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela if you are looking for stock please contact us.

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