Winfred Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela (1937-2018)




You were the rock that supported the struggle’s foundation

Fearless and determined you looked apartheid in the eye and it blinked

They tried to kill your spirit but you stood firm

Patriarchy judged and tormented you

People of privilege spat on your revolutionary armour

But, you Nomzamo refused to back down.


You were a warrior defined by your bravery

Twenty-seven years you kept Nelson Mandela’s name alive

You kept Nelson’s memory alive in the hearts of the people

Yet, people of privilege say Nelson defines you!

No, you Nomzamo define Nelson Mandela

Without your strong back and bravery there is no Nelson Mandela

You Nomzamo defined Nelson Mandela.

You Nomzamo were the bedrock on which the struggle rested.


You were a fearless warrior

You kept the struggle burning

You were the rock on which

The struggle was carved, nurtured and matured

And yet patriarchy wants to smother your memory

People of privilege seek to torture your memory out of our hearts

You, Nomzamo nursed the struggle.


Mother of the revolution – we call you

While patriarchy spits on your revolutionary mettle

Banished, arrested, tortured and vilified

But they failed to break your spirit

You marched on as only you Nomzamo could

You are a hero born and bred in the hearts of we your people

Rest in power Nomzamo, rock of the struggle.





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