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Remembering Winnie Mandela: Her best quotes

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On Monday 2nd of April 2018, the world learned news of the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the age of 81. A statement released by the family stated: ‘She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.’

Throughout her life Mrs Madikizela-Mandela became a freedom fighter and political icon during the apartheid in South Africa alongside her former husband and the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. With her Khoza name ‘Nomzamo’ translating to ‘she who tries’, it seems she was perfectly suited for her fearless activism and fight for justice.

Hailed as the ‘mother of a nation’, Madikizela-Mandela was declared as a feminist icon by her supporters and later became the leader of the women’s wing at the African National Congress in 1993. Throughout her revolutionary activism, her profound speeches and courageous impact inspired some of her greatest quotes, such as the following:

On refusing to be silenced: “They think because that have put my husband on an island that he will be forgotten. They are wrong. The harder they try to silence him, the louder I will become.”

On liberation: “Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.”

Being Fearless: “I no longer have the emotion of fear, there is nothing I can fear”

Personal struggles with the apartheid: “There is nothing the apartheid government has not done to me. There isn’t a pain I haven’t known.”

On her unapologetic character: “I’m not sorry. I will never be sorry. I would do everything I did again if I had to. Everything.”

On womanhood: “To those who oppose us, we say Strike the woman, and you strike a rock”.

On Black empowerment: “It is only when all black groups, join hands and speak with one voice that we shall be a bargaining force which will decide its own destiny”

On where the battles of the apartheid were won: “It was in the townships where we shed so much blood. Nothing could have been achieved without the sacrifice of the people. Black people.”

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s passing had many celebrities paying their tributes, reflecting on her life and undeniable impact:

Words by Emmanuella Ngimbi

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