Winnie Mandela : leader of a nation
Thursday 21st June 2018, on the Summer Solstice day, ushering us into a new season, over 100 leading women and men from across the corporate sector, government and civil society, congregated at the Regent Street Cinema in the West End to pay tribute to Winnie Mandela, who passed on 2nd April 2018 at the age of 81 years old. The aim of the event organised by Blaksox and Kush Films, hosted by Patricia Lamour (MBE), representing GEEDA (Gender Education & Enterprise Development for Africa), was to educate and empower a generation of young women’s leadership focussed audience for change and to redefine the role of African Women, by extension of Black Women in Society.
See trailer of the movie below:
For pics and more info on the event, continue reading
An after-film discussion followed the screening of the movie with a panel composed of Micheline Ravololonarisoa, independent gender consultant and activist, Advocate Sabelo Sibanda, serving in the Office of the Presidency of the Pan-Afrikanist Congress of Azania (who joined the discussion via video link), Hayley Sarah Jane Mills, (OMD EMEA) a South African National and a strategy manager for EMEA of the global media network OMD and Pascale Lamche, « Winnie »’s film director.
“She was the barometer for the political temperature in the country and brushed patriarchal and conservative conventions aside, within her own culture, by keeping a finger on the pulse of the youth and by leading from the front.”
Pascale Lamche explained that the aim of the documentary was to show how Winnie Mandela was politically neutralised by those who wanted to control the entire transition process of the ANC coming to power once Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of incarceration on 11th February 1990. In this historical account and perspective of the life of Winnie Mandela, we see how she remained a voice of resistance, never to be silenced, despite the forces unleashed to ban the ANC revolutionary movement, in spite of being demonised by the apartheid regime which used counter revolutionary tactics such as « Operation Romulus » to discredit her and oust her from the political scene. Winnie remained undeterred as a warrior Queen for her people.
For more info on the event, continue reading below:
Panelist Hayley Sarah Jane Mills would portray Winnie Mandela as the soul of the nation and the heroine of South African women who had to be the breadwinners of their households, as drugs and alcohol diabolically flooded South African shanti towns, one of the the many tactics used by the Apartheid regime to wipe out and disempower black men to contribute positively to the economy and development of their communities.
Although Winnie set the tone for the conduct of Black South African women, old and young and was a role model to them, Hayley didn’t consider Nelson Mandela in the same way. Chris Hani, who was in charge of the military section of the ANC, was her choice for president ; she considered Nelson Mandela to be the Apartheid regime’s choice or « The White man’s choice » as she would state. When Chris Hani was brutally assassinated on 10th April 1983, the hopes for important grassroot reforms to be on the top of priorities at the table of the negotiations with the ex apartheid regime were greatly compromised. Nelson Mandela, now isolated from Winnie, whom he eventually divorced prior to running for presidency, was considered to have agreed to too many compromises. The consequences are still visible today as reforms that would empower Blacks are still lacking such as land restoration and access to free education. Chukuma, an attendee, would rightly point out that as we speak 78% of the land is still in the hands of a small minority of white settlers.
For more info on the event, continue reading below
The event was a resounding success ; it touched and inspired all attending.
« I am inspired and empowered to be for my nation and my generation what Winnie Mandela was to hers… a powerful, purposeful and progressive black woman. My life will never be the same » Karen Allen, attendee
Today, the life and struggle of Winnie Mandela, mirror those of powerful ancestral African Warrior Queens, who led nations and stood firm against colonialism, defiant in the face of injustice. It is our LEGACY !! as African, Black women and as a Black nation.
Mama Winnie, as we call her, is a tribute to African women’s inner strength, their efficiency, bravery and resilience. Winnie Mandela teaches us that it is possible to be political and a woman. GEEDA invites young women to construct their own narrative and map their vision of the future and their contribution to society as leaders. Young women must redefine their reality for a better and a fairer world !!!!
To follow GEEDA’s work, an international consultancy hub of gender and women empowerment experts and advocates, part of the Aspire Education Group Ltd, visit www.aspireeducationgroup.com @GEEDA_blog
Blaksox is an Asset Based Community Development movement committed to social action that is self-determining. They benchmark those organisations that have survived and more importantly thrived, as very few of them are African/Black organisations based in the UK and Europe. For more info, visit www.blaksox.com .
Kush Films is the UK's leading Marketing/PR and Exhibition specialist of Black Films and is pleased to be celebrating 20 years of the UK's longest running and most renowned urban film club the Kush Film Boutique - Join fellow film-fan professionals monthly at the Regent Street Cinema for the best in black film Entertainment. For more info, visit www.kushfilms.com
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