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This month in history

Saturday, 26 September 1936 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is born

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela, apartheid activist and former wife of President Nelson Mandela, was born the fifth of nine children in the village of Mbongweni in Bizana, Pondoland on 26 September 1936.

In 1953, Winnie was admitted to the Jan Hofmeyr School of Social Work in Johannesburg. She completed her degree in social work in 1955, finishing at the top of her class. She was offered the position of medical social worker at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, making her the first qualified Black member of staff to fill that post. While working at the hospital, Winnie’s interest in national politics continued to grow. She met President Mandela in 1957 and they married in Bizana on 14 June 1958.
 
Madikizela-Mandela was a staunch opponent of P W Botha's government and apartheid, which saw her being served several banning orders, imprisonment and banishment. Her efforts to keep the resistance alive earned her the title of "Mother of the Nation."
Winnie passed away after a long illness in Johannesburg on 2 April 2018.