Soweto bids its mother farewell

Soweto bids its mother farewell

Much Respect: Mourners fill Orlando stadium to the rafters in a farewell bid to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

South Africa’s struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been laid to rest at Fourways Memorial Park cemetery. Drizzles from above wet the ground as Mama Winnie’s body was taken to its resting place from Orland Stadium, which was filled beyond its natural capacity of 40 000.

The ripple effects of Madikizela-Mandela’s death attracted dignitaries from across the African continent and overseas. The US civil rights activist, Jessie Jackson, was among the mourners.  Namibian President Hage Geingob paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela. The internationally acclaimed super model Naomi Campbell told the masses that Mama Winnie was more than just a Mother Of The Nation; she was a heroine to the entire continent.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s father was a chief. It was her royal family’s wish that she be buried at Mbongweni in the Eastern Cape. But they made peace with the fact that she belonged to the entire nation.

Her death on 2 April 2018 shocked many people, especially those who were close to her.  She attended the weekend Easter festivities at church and unexpectedly died on the Easter Monday.

Some political commentators believe that it was Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who kept the Mandela name alive when his husband, Nelson Mandela, was sentenced to life in prison. She single-handedly brought up their two children, Zenani and Zinzi. However, it was not a smooth upbringing. She was frequently harassed by the security forces, incarcerated and banished from her family and friends for a long time.