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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: A Life in Quotes

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: A Life in Quotes

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in her own words.

Affectionately known to South Africans as the “Mother of the Nation,” Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died on 2 April 2018 after a long illness.

To many, hers was a life committed to ending injustice and bringing about social change in South Africa.

Equally, some will remember Madikizela-Mandela for her courage, strengths, weaknesses, and above all, her contribution to ending apartheid.

Accordingly, we take a look at the icon’s life through some of her more notable quotes:

“They think because they have put my husband on the island that he will be forgotten. They are wrong. The harder they try to silence him, the louder I will become!” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1962

“I will not allow the selfless efforts of my husband and his friends to be abandoned. I will continue the struggle for a free and equal South Africa.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1962

“To those who oppose us, we say, Strike the woman, and you strike the rock.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1966

“If you are to free yourselves you must break the chains of oppression yourselves. Only then can we express our dignity, only when we have liberated ourselves can we co-operate with other groups. Any acceptance of humiliation, indignity or insult is acceptance of inferiority.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1976

“Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country!” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1986

“The years of imprisonment hardened me…perhaps if you have been given a moment to hold back and wait for the next blow, your emotions wouldn’t be blunted as they have been in my case. When it happens every day of your life, I no longer have the emotion of fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t know.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1987

“I am the product of the passes of my country and the product of my enemy.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1996

“All what we fought for is not what is going on right now. It is a tragedy and that he lived and saw what was happening, we cannot pretend like South Africa is not in a crisis, our country is in crisis and anyone who cannot see that is just bluffing themselves.” – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 2017


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