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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela talks to us in 10 quotes

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a revolutionary, a freedom fighter and a strong believer in the economic freedom of black South Africans. Here are ten quotes that give us an inkling into her beliefs and what she stood for.



Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died at the age of 81 at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. We listed quotes by her that give us an inkling into what she stood for.

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.

⇒ 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, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear… there is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known.

I cannot forgive Nelson Mandela for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize with his jailer De Klerk. Hand in hand they went. Mandela prefers to sip tea with the Queen, the biggest oppressor of black people, and have dinner with the Clintons.

Read: Winnie goes to court for Mandela home

Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much white. It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded.

It is only when all black groups join hands and speak with one voice that we shall be a bargaining force which will decide its own destiny.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela carved her own political identity in the struggle for freedom.

They think because they have put my husband on an island that he will be forgotten. They are wrong. The harder they try to silence him, the louder I will become.

I was not made by a racist media and I will not be unmade by a racist media. What matters is what I mean to my people…without economic power, freedom is worthless.

To those who oppress us we say ‘strike the woman, and you strike the rock.’

Read: Winnie Makidizela-Mandela: revolutionary who kept the spirit of resistance alive

Together, hand in hand, with our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.

I will not allow the selfless efforts of my husband and his friends to be abandoned. I will continue the struggle for an equal and free South Africa.