Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the orchestrated rupture of the African family
The figure of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela the mother is a symbol of the orchestrated break down of the African family. Her life in Soweto is marked by the perpetual invasion or breaking in and tearing, or breaking of her home. Similarly, the figure of Winnie Mandela the social worker is a symbol of resistance to this perpetual breaking, a role that takes her outside of her home to tend to the needs of others who are invariably suffering the breaking of their own families and lineages. Now that we are in an a post-Mandela era of naming our national pathologies, what follows the naming? Where do we locate the first site for repair in our country? What are the needs of this site and how do we symbolically and practically approach the mending? Bongela explores the reparation and reconfiguring of the African family as the first site of redress, examining the deaths of Winnie and Nelson Mandela and proposing a uniting of their legacies and love as a model for domestic and public justice.
Milisuthando Bongela is the Arts Editor of the Mail & Guardian and a writer, cultural worker and filmmaker based in Johannesburg.