Nigerian community pays tribute to Winnie Mandela

Winnie Madikizela's coffin being carried from her home

The Nigerian community in South Africa has paid tribute to Winnie Mandela, describing her as a role model and heroine, who fought for the liberation of her people.

The tribute is contained in a condolence message to the Mandela family, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Port Harcourt.

The Assistant Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr Collins Mgbo, said that Winnie would be remembered for the love she showed to Nigerians residing in South Africa.

“On behalf of the Nigerian community in South Africa, we reach out to Winnie Mandela’s family.

“Our hearts go to you and to all South Africans as this remarkable woman and freedom fighter is committed to earth today. We mourn with you.

Mgbo noted that thousands of Nigerians in South Africa would miss a great woman and role model for women in Africa.

“It is no doubt a time of great sorrow. The Nigerian Union in South Africa will greatly miss the Mother of the Nation, Mama Winnie, who passed on April 2.

“We wish to express our deepest condolences to the family of Comrade Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ANC Women’s league and the African National Congress.

“We also mourn with the Republic of South Africa and Africa at large on the loss of a heroine and a freedom fighter.’’

Mgbo said that Mandela would be missed not only by the Nigerian community in South Africa but Africa and the world at large.

He told the Mandela family to find fortitude in the hope that she lived a good life, assuring the thoughts and prayers of Nigerians for the family.

Winnie died on April 2 in Johannesburg after a brief illness.

She was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape – then known as Transkei – and was a trained social worker when she met Nelson Mandela in the 1950s. They later married went on to have two daughters.

They were married for 38 years, although for almost three decades of that time they were separated, due to Mr. Mandela’s imprisonment in the then apartheid enclave. (NAN)

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