Woman of courage

2018-05-03 06:01
Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali addressing the residents during the Freedom Day event held at Gugulethu Sports Complex. Sitting at the back from left, Ilitha Labantu programme manager, Lulu Ngcume, ANC MP Thandi Memela and proportional representation councillor Constance Leputhing. Founder of Ilitha Labantu Mandisa Monakali addressing the audiences, sitting on the back, from left, Ilitha Labantu programme manager Lulu Ngcume, ANC MP Thandi Memela and proportional representation councilor Constance Leputhing. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali addressing the residents during the Freedom Day event held at Gugulethu Sports Complex. Sitting at the back from left, Ilitha Labantu programme manager, Lulu Ngcume, ANC MP Thandi Memela and proportional representation councillor Constance Leputhing. Founder of Ilitha Labantu Mandisa Monakali addressing the audiences, sitting on the back, from left, Ilitha Labantu programme manager Lulu Ngcume, ANC MP Thandi Memela and proportional representation councilor Constance Leputhing. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Gugulethu residents celebrated Freedom Day in style last Friday by commemorating and honouring the life and legacy of the late struggle icon and women’s activist Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Gugulethu Sports Complex.

The event was organised by Ilitha Labantu Organisation. Among the keynote speakers were African National Congress Member of Parliament and former deputy chairperson of National Council of Provinces Thandi Memela.

Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali described the event as a special day in the country.

“Today we are commemorating our first democratic elections in the country and also celebrating the life of a veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

We dedicate this day to her and the role that she played during the Struggle. We want to show that her role is not forgotten,” said Monakali.

Monakali emphasised that it was Madikizela-Mandela who made the day possible.

She described Madikizela-Mandela as a strong woman and freedom fighter. She lambasted the patriarchal tendencies demonstrated by the government for failing to elect woman in key positions.

“Winnie was a victim of patriarchy after spending the rest of her life supporting her husband ... But when her husband ascended into power, he dumped her. And this is a warning to all young women that even though they support their partners, they mustn’t forget who they are and put their priorities first,” said Monakali.

Memela asked how long should women fight against patriarchy before they are recognised for their sterling efforts in the homefront.

She said women have shown they can protect and provide for their families.

“Winnie sacrificed her life, ensuring improvement for the lot of women and children. Why(does) our government allow black women to be oppressed and start talking good things about her only when she is gone. We (women) are not doormats, let us lead our country as we are capable of doing so,” said Memela.

Nomthandazo Sikhundla, from NY 119, described Winnie as a great leader and urged government to give women an opportunity to lead. “Winnie demonstrated that women can lead and it is up to us (women) to put pressure on the ruling party to do so,”

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