Poem: A Song For Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a house in Brandfort, in the Orange Free State, where she was banished in 1977. She was confined to the Brandfort area for eight years. The three-roomed house had no electricity, no running water, and the house had no floors or ceilings.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a house in Brandfort, in the Orange Free State, where she was banished in 1977. She was confined to the Brandfort area for eight years. The three-roomed house had no electricity, no running water, and the house had no floors or ceilings.

In a time when few men could carry it
You lifted the cross upon your shoulders
Not alone
Never without a doubt
You fought for a freedom our birth rights had ordained
Against the Venters and the Potgieters
Against men who parted seas to claim
A land that was never theirs

You fought
Suffered
Interrogations
Torture
Prisons
Banishment
To European-claimed land
Where you continued to fight
In a time when they thought they were strong
You fought
Until your name became unspoken
Because you feared its power
Your power

Even when they stole your babies’
Childhoods from you
You fought
Even when they ripped your husband
From your newlywed arms
Threw him into a concrete cell
Even when they displaced intimate moments
Between a wife and her husband from private bedrooms to monitored visiting rooms
You fought
Never denying your womanhood,
Motherhood
Wifehood
Carrying your pain, vulnerable eyes
You allowed your cheekbones to hold your head up high
Guarded your children to death
You honoured your husband as religiously as you knew how
Loved your people passionately
Fought it through
Never to be forgotten…

By: Vangile Gantsho

Winnie Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1963, where Nelson Mandela and nine other leaders of the African National Congress went on trial for charges of sabotage.

Winnie Mandela during the Rivonia Trial in 1963, where Nelson Mandela and nine other leaders of the African National Congress went on trial for charges of sabotage.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is a South African Political Activist, who fought against the Apartheid regime. Today [28 April 2016], she was awarded the Order Of Luthuli in silver, by President Jacob Zuma, for her contribution and sacrifices during the fight for a democratic South Africa.

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