Archive for April 2, 2018

with comrade Winnie Mandela, who worked together with my mother for a while in the 1950s and whose husband comrade Nelson Mandela was a friend and comrade of my father both of whom were fellow-accused in the infamous “Treason Trial” from 1956 to 1961 and who spent time in jail together and who named my sister “Nobandla” – an isiXhosa name meaning “she who is of the people”.

For Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela 

(1936 – 2018).

Today we grieve,

The mother of the nation has breathed her last,

today we reflect on her gallant past.

Today we mourn,

the falling of a giant tree,

who rattled the foundations of Apartheid,

in the collective struggle to be from oppression free.

Today we weep,

tears of sorrow and tears of pain,

for our mother who shall no longer walk amongst us again.

Today we sing,

songs of freedom and of profound loss,

as we remember the cruel and brutal obstacles she had to cross.

Today we reflect,

on the years of banishment and of solitary confinement she was made to suffer,

with no husband, no family, nothing but her will acting as her protective buffer.

Today we recall her strength,

as she fought alongside her comrades without a pause,

while remaining ever faithfully dedicated to the valiant struggle, to the cause.

Today we console each other as the truth cuts deep,

her life one of loss and of unimaginable pain,

as we call out our eternal refrain –

Hamba Kahle* Mama Winnie Mandela!

We will not give up your fight!

Matla ke a Rona!**

The Struggle Continues.

Viva the undying spirit of Winnie Mandela!

Viva the struggle against racism and oppression!


* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.

* – Matla ke a Rona – victory is certain – a slogan during the struggle against Apartheid oppression and racial discrimination.

2008 – President Nelson Mandela with my father and I

Belonging …

I may not feel at home anywhere, in any place,

my ties that bind are tenuous at the very least, brittle and flimsy,

my roots are shallow, not deeply entrenched to anything, not to the now and not to the here,

which leaves me holding on,

clinging onto, only desiring the eternal embrace,

of wanting all of what I have finally found,

far, far beyond the pleasures of the flesh,

far, far removed from the clichés of love and desire and wants –

for I, at long last,

understand and breathe, that ever elusive enveloping shawl of human longing,

for with you,

I have learnt the true meaning of being at home,

the true meaning of finally belonging.

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