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Winni Madikizela – Mandela died peacefully at the age of 81 after living a remarkable life. People are referring to her as the “Mother of Nations” to appreciate her incredible dedication to combating racism. Moreover, she appeared to be the ‘protective mother’ of all the ones, who suffered.

She was born in 1936 in Transkei, South Africa at times when people struggled with apartheid the most. She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, most of the time separated due to his lifelong imprisonment. Winni Madikizela – Mandela is way more than just the ex-wife of the first Black President of South Africa. Her entire life, she was fighting for justice and equality for Blacks.

“In the face of exploitation, she was a champion of justice and equality” – South Africa´s President Cyril Ramaphosa praised her. Besides that, a lot of people all around the globe are grieving, because the world just lost one more person, who stood up for the right things. Energy Minister Jeff Radebe even referred to her as “a great icon of our liberation struggle”.

There are also other reactions coming up regarding the controversy of her person. She started being the first Black social worker in her home country, becoming a figure of terror and fear later. In Soweto, she established a dreaded security army and was even accused of torturing and kidnapping. She was found guilty of involvement in the death of a 14 – years – old township militant, but her sentence was reduced to a fine.

Later her extravagant lifestyle was met with refusals, disappointment, and disagreement of former followers. Especially considering the mass poverty in the country, it seems like a betrayal of the people she used to fight for.

Winni Madikizela – Mandela was a woman, who went strictly for her aims, no matter what. But being an anti-apartheid campaigner didn´t save her from being a criminal as well.

The end does not justify the means.


Story by: Elisabeth Fitzke/