R.I.P. Mama Winnie

Now her, after Bra Willie and Bra Hugh the third South African icon to die while I am here. I am not in the position to write much about “Mama Winnie”, the Mother of the Nation, as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is emphatically referred to. Her death has laid open the rifts that run through South African society – historical, racial, social, gender-related. Even in death, one might say, she polarizes, and thus her impressive legacy was not only praised but also denounced immediately after her passing, which is not just an act of highest indecency, it also echoes the rather tragic fate of a woman who found herself overshadowed by an iconic husband, belittled and vilified.

Yet her name and legacy will forever be remembered in every shouting of “Amandla – Ngawethu”, repeated a thousandfold over the two weeks after her passing, just like the thousands of “Long live!”, and most inspiringly in “She has not died, she multiplied”.


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