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Winnie Mandela drama on BBC

March 26, 2009

I’m really pleased the BBC have decided to commission a drama about the life of Winnie Mandela ( The Guardian 11/03/09). Much has been written about Nelson Mandela and rightly so, but not long ago I found myself wondering about Winnie. Her life before Nelson, when they met, when he was imprisoned and what happened when he was freed. Where did it all go wrong for her, how did she go from being Mother of the Nation in the years of struggle against apartheid to virtually persona non grata in the wake of her involvement in the murder of Stompie Moeketsi, fraud conviction and subsequent divorce from Nelson?

I know a dramatisation will not give all the answers or even come close to the person she is, but one thing I hope it does achieve is to remind us of her strength and zeal during those long years of apartheid and how to Black women like me growing up in those times, she was very much seen as a role model if not a icon. Whether the same can be said now, given all the scandals she has been linked to is doubtful. Though with the current changes in South African politics and rumours that she may be propelled to the forefront once more, we definitely have not seen the last of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

From → People, TV

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