Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is dead at the age of 81. For all y’all teenie massive who may think that she sounds familiar, well you’re right. She is the controversial ex- wife of legendary South African president, Nelson Mandela.
Madikizela-Mandela, known as “Mamma Winnie,” had been ill for several years and was hospitalized recently with kidney problems, the South African website Eyewitness News said.
She was married to the human rights icon from 1958 until their divorce in 1996. For 27 years of their marriage, he was imprisoned by the minority-white apartheid regime. Now that’s love, right?
The couple separated after Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, and he became president of South Africa in 1994. He accused his wife of infidelity.Oops!
After the divorce, she kept his name and added her maiden name. Nelson Mandela died in 2013.
Besides being married to Nelson Mandela, Winnie will be remembered for her South African anti-apartheid activism and politics. She held several government positions, including as Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. A member of the African National Congress(ANC) political party, she served on the ANC’s National Executive Committee and headed its Women’s League.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela joined the struggle to end apartheid after working as a hospital social worker in the 1950s. Around that time, she met her future husband, who was a lawyer and human rights activist. After he was arrested for his political activities, she raised two young daughters alone.
She campaigned for his release and to rally support in South Africa and internationally for the anti-apartheid movement. She was also imprisoned and tortured, and she faced constant security threats.
“Mamma Winnie” was honored in 2016 by then-South African president Jacob Zuma for her contributions: “She bravely withstood constant harassment by the apartheid police and challenged their brutality at every turn.”
Source: Eyewitness News