South Africa is mourning the death of struggle veteran and struggle icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela, fondly known as the mother of the nation. Hearts are struggling to come to terms with the unexpected passing of Mama Winnie whose contribution to politics is undeniable. Just a day after her passing, young jazz/soul singers Langa Mavuso and Zoe Modiga gave a moving performance at the Neighborhoods Market in Johannesburg in remembrance of a powerful woman.
Fists were in the air at the Redbull Festival dubbed ‘Khumbula’ (Remember) throughout a performance to honour her fearless spirit during the dark Apartheid era, who was and still remains a political mentor to many. A fist in the air may be regarded a symbol of solidarity, power, triumph or defiance, this is a symbol the struggle hero was always seen to be embracing. Langa and Zoe performed Thandiswa Mazwai’s song ‘Qhawe’ meaning hero, written to honour people of her calibre.
“I couldn’t help but feel the enormity of the platform we had and how much leaders like mam’ Winnie fought for us to have the rights and privileges we enjoy. The music reminded me of where we can from as a country and the sacrifices that were made for us. In the wake of her death as well, it was only fitting for us to pay homage to such a great and powerful woman,” Langa says.
Langa who has recently made his craft known in the industry says he was delighted to have been one of the people to celebrate those who have sacrificed much for the people of South Africa. Not only was the night’s intimate performance about Mama Winnie but it was also about music icons such as Caiphus and Letta Mbuli, the late Mirriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela whose music was not just entertainment but about the struggle and the advancement of black people. The festival will continue throughout the week to showcase other artists who have come after the great were celebrated on this night.