RIP Winnie Mandela, may we strive to have many more

America had Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks, Europe had Joan of Arc and in Africa it was Winnie Mandela, the controversial but equally inspiring iconic figure of the apartheid era. She passed away this week at the ripe old age of 81.

Those were women who helped prove wrong the old myth that women were the weaker sex, clueless and hopeless in the absence of males.

Winnie was the epitome of strength and defiance despite her questionable moral issues that haunted her and nearly ruined her liberation posterity.

In Rwanda, women hold their own, they all see themselves in the images of Parks, Winnie or Joan of Arc because they have been conditioned to see things that way from an early age, have equal opportunities and are empowered.

When we look back at the female Mandela’s legacy, we should pride ourselves in the fact that our environment is creating thousands of Winnies, women who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts and can carry their own weight.

It is not feminism that this country is promoting as some wrongly think. The affirmative action that is in place is to counter centuries of prejudice, not make women super beings or better genetically. Those kinds of perceptions came out in social media a few months ago, generated a storm on twitter due to some young overzealous wannabe feminists.

A true feminist fights on the side of every gender, the same kind of fight Winnie Madikizela-Mandela fought. That is the legacy she has left, that no one will fight your fight, it will all have to begin with you firing the first shot, but in the right direction.

 

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