I sat and watched the official funeral service for Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, popularly known as Winnie Mandela on April 14, 2018, and could not help but notice that despite the worldwide acclaim of this “Mother of the Nation” of South Africa, her passing went largely unreported and acknowledged here in Barbados.
Days afterwards, I listened and am yet to hear or see anything substantial done for such an icon of African liberation in South Africa. This is a sad reflection on us as a people and particularly on the ones we regard as “leaders.”
Winnie Mandela was an apologetic fighter and revolutionary who defied oppression and defeat until the day she died. Winnie was truly the face of the South African struggle, having undergone torture, harassment, banishment, humiliation, deprivation and countless other human rights abuses in the name of freedom and justice for her people. Winnie Mandela, or “Mama” as she was affectionately known, refused to surrender to the indignities heaped upon her by the racist South African state at the time and kept the name of her husband, the first African president of South Africa alive and relevant.
We give thanks for the life and sacrifice of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. As she takes her place in that eternal pantheon of African heroes and heroines, we remain inspired and guided by her many thoughts, words and actions. As was her trademark rallying call in life, we say to her as she embarks on a new existence, “Amandla”.
– IAN A. MARSHALL