Winnie Mandela

© Dr. Peter Magubane

Her isiXhosa Name is Nomzamo: It translates to “she who tries”. Her full name was Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is most remembered for being the “Mother of the Nation” and the struggles she encountered as the wife of Nelson Mandela during his incarceration. Starting her career as a social worker, Winnie made many sacrifices and dedicated her life to fight the injustices she saw around her, becoming a famed freedom fighter in her own right.

SouthAfrica.co.za explores her life and contribution to the integrated country we live in today, from her humble beginnings in the Transkei to being at the forefront of the liberation movement of South Africa.

Early Life of Winnie Mandela

On 26 September 1936, Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was born in Bizana Village in what was then called the Transkei (Eastern Cape)...more

Winnie Mandela An Independent Activist

Nelson Mandela was constantly caught up in ANC business, legal battles and Winnie’s home was often raided by police....more

Winnie Mandela Banned and Harassed

1960 and 1961 brought happiness for Winnie with the birth of her second daughter, Zindziswa, and her husband’s not-guilty verdict from the Treason Trial....more

Winnie Mandela Continues the Struggle

In 1969 she was arrested under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act which stipulated that anyone could be arrested without warrant and held indefinitely without legal aid if they were suspected of being a danger to law and order....more

Winnie Mandela The Controversial

When she returned she found that her neighbourhood had become more dangerous with the youth running riots and the government imposing a state of emergency....more

Winnie Mandela The Later Years

After Apartheid was abolished and The Truth and Reconciliation Commission commenced, Winnie Mandela was called up for being implicated in the assaults and murders performed by the Mandela United Football Club (MUFC)....more