Be true to your­selves as Win­nie was, says grand­son

Plan to turn Win­nie’s Brand­fort home into mu­seum back on track

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - MPILETSO MOTUMI

YOU could have been fooled into think­ing the sight of the EFF and the ANC singing in uni­son was a har­bin­ger of a re­u­nion. A view from atop the packed Or­lando Sta­dium must have re­sem­bled the colours of the na­tional flag. The reds seated with ANC mem­bers in yel­low and green was quite a sight to see.

But as the singing gained mo­men­tum and the sta­dium filled up with red, green and yel­low, the colours of both par­ties, the com­pe­ti­tion heated up.

EFF mem­bers made sure they were as au­di­ble as their sea of red was vis­i­ble. At times, they led the singing, with ANC mem­bers fol­low­ing.

There was boo­ing in the red groups ev­ery time the names of the ANC lead­ers were an­nounced. The boos were es­pe­cially loud for for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma. But when EFF leader Julius Malema took to the podium he made a point of en­sur­ing the reds un­der­stood that boo­ing at the pres­i­dent of the coun­try would be di­rectly dis­re­spect­ing Mama Win­nie Madik­izela-man­dela.

He ac­knowl­edged Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, for­mer pres­i­dents Kgalema Mot­lanthe and Thabo Mbeki and ANC al­liance and league part­ners, but ig­nored Zuma.

Madik­izela-man­dela’s grand­son Zondwa Man­dela re­layed the fam­ily’s praise name to much ul­u­la­tion and urged women and men to con­tinue the legacy.

“The story lives on in all the women who wake up ev­ery day carv­ing a life for them­selves.

“I hope to tell the story of a hero of the peo­ple, she was one of us, she was one of you, she dared to con­tinue when the en­tire world con­spired against her, she stood tall,” he said.

Zuk­iswa Madik­izela, Win­nie’s sis­ter, en­cour­aged women to help their com­mu­ni­ties. “In a so­ci­ety that con­stantly tells women ‘no you can’t’, you can.”

Zondwa added:” To be a hero you only need to be your­self. I hope you re­mem­ber that she was as her­self, Nomzamo Win­nie Madik­izela-man­dela, the daugh­ter and mother of the na­tion. We cel­e­brate and hon­our her.”

The grand­chil­dren put brave faces on for their grand­mother, whom they called “Big Mummy”.

A par­tic­u­larly touch­ing trib­ute came from Madik­izela-man­dela’s long-time friend and con­fi­dante, Mrs Mok­gobo, who de­scribed her con­tri­bu­tions to so­cial work as revo­lu­tion­ary.

“We owe you so much, your deep un­der­stand­ing of the need to rev­o­lu­tionise so­cial work re­mains an im­per­a­tive.

“You told us to free our­selves from the slave men­tal­ity and you taught us to be in the trenches with the peo­ple.”

Su­per­model Naomi Camp­bell spoke about what Madik­izela-man­dela meant to her, adding: “She taught us not to be lim­ited in our move­ments, re­mind­ing us al­ways to stay true to who we are.” The ANC’S na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) will en­sure that the re­de­vel­op­ment of Win­nie Madik­izela-man­dela’s Brand­fort home as a mu­seum will not be botched again.

This was the pledge by NEC mem­ber Siyabonga Cwele, who has been tasked by the party’s high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body to over­see the re­con­struc­tion of her home, a project which is 12 years be­hind sched­ule.

Cwele blamed the fail­ures on the pre­vi­ous con­trac­tor, the In­de­pen­dent De­vel­op­ment Trust, which he said did shoddy work on the site.

Madik­izela-man­dela was ban­ished to Brand­fort by the apartheid regime between 1977 and 1986.

“Now we have a new con­trac­tor. All that is left is to meet with Com­rade Win­nie’s fam­ily and brief them on the fi­nal plans. If they say we should go ahead, we will be ready to start the work,” Cwele said.

“And, as the po­lit­i­cal over­see­ing body in the Free State, we will make sure that the legacy of Mama Win­nie will live on,” he said.

Cwele said the pre­vi­ous con­trac­tor’s agree­ment was ter­mi­nated two years ago.

On Wed­nes­day, the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture an­nounced that a new con­trac­tor for the project had been ap­pointed.

De­part­ment spokesper­son Asanda Ma­gaqa said Risi­mati Con­sult­ing En­gi­neers had en­tered into an agree­ment on March 13 and that the last con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing between the de­part­ment and Risi­mati took place on April 7.

“But I hope that ev­ery women of this coun­try, in­clud­ing the gen­er­a­tions to come, will know about Win­nie Madik­izela-man­dela, who was able, dur­ing the last cen­tury and this one, to em­brace wom­an­hood.

“Win­nie em­braced wom­an­hood at its best, in terms of the im­age of a leader. She will never be for­got­ten,” Ma­gaqa added.

KHAYA KOKO

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