Monday, October 17, 2005

Winnie Mazidikela Mandela -Where are you?

I miss you Winnie where are you?

What became of you Winnie Mandela, one mistake and you were banished by most. The cameras that seemed to follow you everywhere prior to 1992 have all disappeared. You graced pages of many a Magazine but now not even a positive newspaper story. What happened to you? As a young woman I loved you, I admired your courage , your tenacity , your bravery and your strong will to see a free Mandela and South Africa. You were arrested for what you believed in, you were emotionally abused by the apartheid system , you were banished away from your Matrimonial home to some shanty town. All in the name of a free SA and Mandela

Your beauty captured my eyes, your charisma not to forget your feisty self. Oh why would the world ignore you now, where did you go? I thought I would forever see you in the limelight, using the Media that captured every moment of your fight to champion causes. Instead next to your husband, I see another woman, not because she does not deserve to be there but I would have loved to be you.

I see your husband holding another woman who I’m not sure back then fought for his freedom the way you did. You kept his name alive, you cried tears for him, you used yourself as a human shield from those Afrikaans Cops and now for a mistake that you made in the name of fighting for freedom has made your name to be forgotten. Yes, you probably succumbed to temptation, but who would not? You were only human and if tables were turned, who is to say he could not have not done some things to punish the snitchers who were a road block to ANC and Freedom. You were just trying to do the right thing but made a poor judgment on Stompie and it was wrong and now everyone remembers you just for the Mistake that you made. Most have not acknowledged the role you played in fighting - the unspoken Hero. The one who mobilised the youth , the youth that called you "mama" .The unruly youth that led De Klerk to acknowledge that it was time for change. Yet here we are today, no one sings your praises , nobody notices you have gone AWOL. I research new story of you, a book, a newspaper article and a "by the way" sentence but nothing about you. Did you disappear out of shame or because no one wants to stand side by side with you?

We all make mistakes ,some deadly ones but where is the compassion for the once called 'Mama " for the brave Winnie who endured it all. Why has the world turned a blind eye and not want to see you again. Is it just me who feels strongly about you?

Your ex- husband, didn’t he leave his first wife for you? Didn’t he abandon his first wife because fighting for freedom took the first priority? So what made him judge you harshly like that? You brought up decent children all by yourself with all the hardships and arrests. He speaks fondly of these children in his biography but it is because of your strength that they became. Yes, you two may have grown out of love, but shouldn’t he have waited for limelight to die before divorcing you? Or it was politically risky for him to continue being your husband if only for a little bit longer?

I weep for you Winnie, I miss you and I hope to see you again.Oh Winnie, I long the day I see you again in a cover of a Magazine, in some T.V show like Oprah (I wonder why she cannot invite you to her show), on Dateline with Stone Phillips maybe…..anywhere .It was and is because of you, I believe in the oppressed, the poor, the banished, the unfortunate. You gave me courage that one can fight hard to overcome roadblocks to reach one's goals. It was you I admired with your African Attire, the beauty, the classy look that made you truly the African Queen and I emulate it every way I can. You fashionably wore the mother land attire with such poise that made me proud to wear something African which is beautiful and as superior as the Western attire. The way you carried yourself with dignity and Poise forever lingers in my mind. I miss you Winnie!


Acolyte said...

I must admit that you have made me look at Winnie's issue in a new light.I mean I like many thought that from the mother of the nation she had now become the mugger of the nation.I mean with her gang that killed that young lad and would go around terrorising the hood, embezzling public funds,dogging on her husband who had given away 27 years of his life with a younger man.I respect what she once was but not what she became.Anyway we are all human and might fall from being bastions of virtues to bastions of depravity but let people not forget who we once were.Nice post btw

tomas said...

I like the fire in the words that jumped at me as I read ya post. The passion u hav for this is harsh!
Its true that Winnie was a great woman, but unfortunataly the world is a cruel jury and people are often remembered for the mistakes they make rather than the good they do.
Great post.

Irena said...

Acolyte & tomas: Thanks for your contribution and yes the fraud and death of Stompie may happened but I look at the situation as one sided story and I would love very much to hear from Winnie and her camp on what exactly transpired. If you put youth who are poor, frustrated by a racist government a lot can happen. How come Buthelezi went away with murder but for Winnie the world judges her so harshly. You do not know what emotional stress this woman went through for all those years to reach a breaking point and again with an army of a hopeless youth ..gees lets look at our own backyard and see what despair can do to a human mind and soul. Please do not judge Winnie that harshly without looking a the big picture carefully.. I will forever support her despite!!!

sandman said...

I've often thought of the pain Winnie has gone through and the embarrassment, shame and sense of abandonment she must have felt when it was all over. She was a good person who stumbled along a her noble path. But that stumble is what separates the good from the great.

Mandela had become more than her husband and the father of her children. He had become the moral compass of a nation, of a movement, of the world. He couldn't in good conscience not condemn what she had done while at the same time condemning what the Gov. had done. It pained him too that it would come down to that but in the end Mandela really didn't have much of a choice. I know you're empathetic towards Winnie esp. as a woman because you can relate to her struggle and sacrifice better than a man can. But Murder, even that of your enemy, is a crime that cannot go unpunished.

Poi said...

I loved, loved winnie Mandela, had a passion for her, to grow up and be just like her! Until her scandal outted on CNN, how true twas remains unknown to date.

She's someone I always admired, her name on history and all over CNN not to mention her aunthoritative figure.

Love the way she even walked, head held up high literally, trully a woman of iron her. I vaguely remember on CNN that day they brought her to court she still waved at 'us' and smiled, head held high turning in all directions, making a grand entry show as always.

Love the way she spoke and carried herself in dignity and decorum. I miss seeing her all over the news for real. Wherever you at Winnie,can only wish you joy and happiness, long live w/legacy!

You Irena just did it again this time, very original and creative piece on the real. Winnie how could I even think of her yani? its like one minute she was there the next vamoosed. How could Grace come and take all she had be associated with?? Life is crazy!

Lovely and great piece on Winnie, keep your good work n wisdom coming raggazza, hhihiihi, gotya! :)

Happy week!

Irena said...

Sandman: I hear you on the murder issue but one has to question the circumstances that led to the "murder" of Stompei. We all go by what was reported in the Media the trial but at times the media report may not be absolutely/100% true and perhaps there was more to it ..I dunno. Maybe when Winnie recruited the youth at the time she didn't know what 'monsters" she created and maybe the monster went out of hand. Has someone ever deeply looked at the make up and hierachy of the activities of these youth leading to the major command centre -Winnie.
How many of such youth were in it not for the real cause that Winnie was championing but for thuggery and terrorist activities or others were government informants who would do anything to destroy Winnie indirectly including murdering an activitist ?

As I said earlier a deprived human being is capable of murder and maybe Winnie being their leader had to shield her faithful youth by taking the blame and now has to suffer for the actions of a few uncontrollable group - Food for thought!
I admire Mandela as well for the most his acts of forgiveness and compassion to his enemies. Anyways in a moment of heightened emotions, a human being is capable of doing the unimaginable.

Poi: Thanks for the contribution and I 'm glad to see someone else feels the same way I do about Winnie

sandman said...

True - food for thought. We can never be absolutely sure about anything unless we witnessed it ourselves. I see your point on people wanting to set her up. She was indeed an important and dare I say vital part of their struggle and whatever her ills she shouldn't be forgotten.

Farmgal said...

she did too much good to be forgotten just because of one mistake. I fret to think what would have happened if she didnt keep on fighting when her husbnd was in prison! someone needs to give her some recognition....south Africa needs to wake and recognise.

Irena said...

farmgal: That is true she contributed as much for SA freedom and she should be given some recognition too.

Mignon said...

This is a very touching tribute to a woman who lit the torch for others, a woman whose strength and courage gave hope to thousands of the trodden. In a world where perfection is a must, it's sad that many have turned a blind eye on Winnie Mandela's contributions to her generation. Unfortunately, human nature has no care if you stumbled along the way, the bitter taste will always linger.
Great post!

Anonymous said...

I am reading Winnie's autobiography Part of My Soul Went With Him and to me, looking back now on the 1997 trial, I just have trouble believing in the accusations... I mean, unless, she completely became insane or was on heavy drugs, it is just IMPOSSIBLE for Winnie to have stooped this low. I mean, to know all the love she always had for children, her tenderness and self-sacrifice as a social worker, her humility and her modesty, as well as her anti-materialism and communist ideals.... It just does not make sense. I have to stand by her, and honour her memory still. To me, this is just another conspiracy to destroy her image, the main goal being to completely take away the only thing that would make Winnie the Mother Icon in SA history: her integrity and honour. And it seems that it has worked... And I am very disappointed in the black communtiy worldwide... Irena you are ABSOLUTELY right when u say that Oprah could have at least invited her to hear her side of the story... People are just so quick to judge, it ain'T even funny no more...