In 2018, I was forced to unlearn history as I had learnt it.
It took a huge loss to the country, for me and many young women, to go back to the basics and learn who Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was and what her life truly stood for.
It wasn’t until Mama died aged 81, that I learnt of her true story, who she was and just how big a part of history she is. It wasn’t until April 2 that words like STRATCOM held enough meaning for me to realise important my role as a journalist is, but even more, how important my voice as a woman is.
It was only after death that the world stopped (or was forced) to underplay the role of Winnie in the liberation struggle and acknowledge her for the real powerhouse she was. And it was at this time that a different strength was awakened in many women, young and old across the world. It was only after her death that Mama Winnie truly multiplied.
Read the opinion piece below written just days after her death.
Learning about the true and iconic Winnie Madikizela-Mandela only after her death is a clear indication that they knew her power and intentionally tried to bury it, an act that I believe will cost SA for a long time.
Since the announcement of Mama Winnie’s death I’ve held back everything I had to say for one main reason: I felt other people could better express how her death affected them, they knew her.
I watched from the sidelines as people poured out their hearts and shared emotional tributes about this marvel of a woman who had given the best years of her life to the struggle and continued to fight even after we were made to believe the war was over.