NEWSROOM (ADV) – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s marriage to Nelson Mandela and her anti-apartheid activism ensured many South Africans saw her as the “Mother of the Nation.”
Born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela, and always known simply as “Winnie”, she was married to Nelson for 38 years – one of the most storied romances of modern history.
Most of their marriage was spent apart, with Nelson imprisoned for 27 years, leaving her to raise their two daughters alone and to keep alive his political dream under the repressive white-minority regime.
In 1990 the world watched when Nelson Mandela finally walked out of prison – hand in hand with Winnie.
But they separated just two years later and divorced in 1996 after a legal wrangle that revealed her affair with a young bodyguard.
With or without Nelson, Winnie built her own role as a tough, glamourous and outspoken black activist with a loyal grassroots following in the segregated townships.
“From every situation I have found myself in, you can read the political heat in the country,” she said in a biography.
She completed university, a rarity for black women at the time, and became the first qualified social worker at Johannesburg’s Baragwanath Hospital.
Back on the life of a genius woman who brought a lot to South Africa.
© Bur-csa – A.H / N.A – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng