Winnie Mandela Passes Away at Age 81

Nikita Kheni, Editor-in-Chief

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, “mother” of South Africa, anti-apartheid activist, and politician passed away on April 2 at the age of 81.


Growing up, she saw how differently she was treated and the contrast in the struggles between black people and white people. She grew up in poverty and lost her mother at age nine. Mandela knew she wanted to fix how society discriminated people by the color of their skin. So she fought. She is an iconic symbol for South Africa, fighting for racial equality during the apartheid. Apartheid is segregation on grounds other than race in South Africa. Mandela pushed to release her husband, Nelson Mandela, and other prisoners who were detained unlawfully.


Challenges in the form of scandals surrounded her. In Soweto, the ANC accused her of “necklacing”, putting burning tyres around suspected informants’ necks. In the 1980s. She was also imprisoned after being involved involvement in the death of 14-year-old township militant Stompie Seipei. She always denied the allegations.


Hardened by the apartheid of her homeland and continual oppression by the hands of everyone around her, her resilience grew as challenges and obstacles targeting her – both as a woman and politician – attempted to bring her work in South Africa to a halting stop.


When her husband divorced her, she was kicked off official government counsels for influence peddling, accepting bribes and misuse of government funds.


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a controversial figure, someone who fought resiliently for what she believed in, yet surrounded by numerous allegations, scandals, and challenges.