Winnie Mandela dies at 81

Winnie Mandela has become widely recognised throughout the world as a symbol for the political goals and ideals of the black people of South Africa.

Nkosikazi Nobandle Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela Born in 1934 in the village of eMbongweni, Bizana, Pondoland, in what is now South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, she is a daughter of Mandikizela, a history teacher, government official and a domestic science teacher.

She is also married late Nelson Mandela an attorney, political activist and the former President of South Africa, June 1958, and had two daughters, Zenani (born 1959) and Zindzi (born 1960)

Winnie Mandela worked at Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto as a medical social worker, she was also a member of Federation of South African Women and other women’s political groups, she later joined Women’s League of African National Congress (ANC) in 1957 and then became head of local branch.

Winnie Mandela participated in numerous demonstrations protesting South Africa’s apartheid policy of racial segregation, she acted as spokesperson and carried on political activity on Nelson Mandela’s behalf from 1964-1990.

She was named minister of arts, culture, science and technology in the years 1994 and 1995 and named member of parliament and president of the ANC Women’s league.

Awards: Winnie Mandela received the Robert F. Kennedy Humanitarian Award in 1985; and the Third World Prize in 1985.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela is popular among her supporters, who refer to her as the ‘Mother of the Nation’. She was not just Nelson Mandela’s wife but in the height of apartheid in South Africa she was at the forefront, tackled it head-on, and even confronting the police.

A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul has ascended to heaven. Rest In Peace Winnie Mandela.

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