Win­nie & Nel­son’s bond in pic­tures

Bound by sac­ri­fice, suf­fer­ing, loss and love, Win­nie and Nel­son faced chal­lenges no cou­ple should have to en­dure


THEIR love cap­ti­vated the world and in­spired mil­lions across SA. It was passionate, driven by their de­sire to change our coun­try, and blazed bright from the first time he laid eyes on her at a bus stop in Soweto. But Nel­son and Win­nie Man­dela, who wed in 1958, spent only a handful of years to­gether be­fore he was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment. She knew what she’d signed up for. “I was forced to ma­ture on my own,” she wrote to him in prison.

“Your for­mi­da­ble shadow which eclipsed me left me naked and ex­posed to the bit­ter world of a young po­lit­i­cal wi­dow. I knew this was a crown of thorns for me but I also knew I said ‘I do’ for bet­ter or for worse. In mar­ry­ing you I was mar­ry­ing the strug­gle of my peo­ple.”

TEN­DER TIMES Their mar­riage was strained by the strug­gle, but they en­joyed lighter mo­ments af­ter his re­lease from prison. She later ad­mit­ted to a UK jour­nal­ist she was an­gry with him. “My dis­ap­point­ment and anger boiled up when I saw him mak­ing those...

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