Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist in her own right whose reputation was sullied by scandal, has died. She was 81.
The woman many South Africans once described as the “Mother of the Nation” and a champion of the black majority, died “surrounded by her family and loved ones,” according to a statement released by Madikizela-Mandela’s family.
Madikizela-Mandela was the second of Mandela’s three wives, married to him from 1958 to 1996.
Mandela, who died in 2013, was imprisoned throughout most of their marriage, and Madikizela-Mandela’s own activism against white minority rule led to her being jailed for months and placed under house arrest for years.
“She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one of its most recognizable faces,” the family said.
However, Madikizela-Mandela’s political activism was marred by her conviction in 1991 for kidnapping and assault, for which she was fined. She faced these allegations again during the 1997 hearings before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that investigated apartheid-era crimes.
As a parliamentarian after South Africa’s first all-race elections, she was convicted of fraud.
Still, Madikizela-Mandela remained a venerated figure in the ruling African National Congress, which has led South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
She continued to tell the party “exactly what is wrong and what is right at any time,” said senior ANC leader Gwede Mantashe.
The ANC, which was the main movement against apartheid, had lost popularity in recent years in part because of scandals linked to former President Jacob Zuma, who resigned in February.
Nobel laureate and former archbishop Desmond Tutu, a periodic critic of the ruling party, noted her passing by describing Madikizela-Mandela as “a defining symbol” of the fight against apartheid.
“She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment,” Tutu said. “Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists.”
Madikizela-Mandela had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year, according to her family. She had back surgery a year ago.
After hearing of her death, some people gathered Monday evening outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in the Soweto area of Johannesburg to sing tributes. She had attended Easter services in Soweto over the long weekend.
The family said it will release details of her memorial and funeral services when they are finalized.
Madikizela-Mandela’s story was told in biographies and novels as well the Hollywood movie “Winnie,” starring Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.
The young Winnie grew up in what is now Eastern Cape province and came to Johannesburg as the city’s first black female social worker. Her research into the high infant mortality rate in a black township, which she linked to poverty caused by racism, first sparked her interest in politics.
In 1957, she met Nelson Mandela, an up-and-coming lawyer and anti-apartheid activist 18 years her senior, and they married a year later.
The first five turbulent years of their marriage saw Mandela going underground to build the armed struggle against apartheid, and finally to prison in 1963, while his wife gave birth to two daughters.
Madikizela-Mandela always was aware of the danger of being in the shadow of her husband’s all-encompassing personality.
Even before they were separated by Nelson Mandela’s long stay in prison, she had become politicized, being jailed for two weeks while pregnant for participating in a women’s protest of apartheid restrictions on blacks.
The apartheid police later harassed her, sometimes dragging her from bed at night without giving her a chance to make arrangements for her daughters.
In 1977, she was banished to a remote town, Brandfort, where neighbors were forbidden to speak to her. She was banned from meeting with more than one person at a time.
The woman who returned to Johannesburg in 1985 was much harder, more ruthless and bellicose, branded by the cruelty of apartheid and determined vengeance.
In her book “100 Years of Struggle: Mandela’s ANC,” Heidi Holland suggested that Madikizela-Mandela was “perhaps driven half-mad by security police harassment.” In an infamous 1986 speech she threatened “no more peaceful protests.”
Instead, she endorsed the “necklacing” method of killing suspected informers and police with fuel-doused tires put around the neck and set alight.
“Together hand-in-hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country,” she said.
Madikizela-Mandela complained bitterly on a North American tour after she was forced to testify to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997 that the commission never asked her about the treatment she suffered over 18 months in solitary confinement.
The Mandela marriage that survived decades of prison bars dissolved with a formal separation in 1992, two years after Nelson Mandela was released.
The couple divorced in 1996, two years after Mandela became president in South Africa’s first all-race elections, with Mandela accusing his wife of infidelity.
As the mother of two of Mandela’s children, Madikizela-Mandela and her ex-husband appeared to rebuild a friendship in his final years.
After Mandela’s death, however, she became involved in disputes over his inheritance.
Article from Detroitnews.com
The majority of gym goers experience apprehension for one reason or another. In one study, nearly 65% of women admit to avoiding the gym due to anxiety or fear of being judged. Some people are better at hiding it, and other people have been able to move on from their insecurities. However, the same study found that you’re about twice as likely to feel like you’re being judged, than you are to actually be judged.
Chances are: unless someone is making a point of making you uncomfortable, they aren’t judging you at all. You could actually be their source of motivation!
Remember why you’re going to the gym, and write down your goals.
Whether you’re trying to get in better shape for a specific event or making a dedicated effort to take control of your health, write down your “why”. Avoiding illness? Class reunion coming up? Wedding? Making sure you’re healthy enough to be there for your loved ones? What is your Big Why?
Whatever the reason, write it down and put your “why” somewhere you can see it regularly.
Then, set SMART goals and refer to them regularly. SMART goals are:
This is a proven system that you can apply to almost any aspect of your life. You can find a fitness-specific template here, or get creative and make your own. Make sure you have short-term and long-term goals.
Reminding yourself why you need to go to the gym and having set goals and timelines will keep you focused. You’ll be less likely to talk yourself out of the gym if you remember why you need to go.
Unless you live in a very rural or isolated area, chances are you have several gym options to choose from. Price, hours of operation, and location will all play a role in your decision – but those shouldn’t be the only factors. Some gyms cater to hardcore fitness enthusiasts, while others specifically target the average Joe. There are even female-only gyms!
Make an appointment for a tour of the facility. Try to go during the time of day you expect to be exercising to get an idea of how many people will be there. Do they offer a free consultation or a trial membership for free? If so, take advantage of it to familiarize yourself with the equipment and personnel.
A gym’s culture and atmosphere can vary a lot from location to location and even by the time of day. You’ll just need to do some research to get started.
For more tips on choosing the right gym, give this article a quick read.
There is strength in numbers! Having a workout partner increases your odds of success in SO MANY ways! First of all, you’re less likely to bail on a workout if you’re meeting someone. Secondly, unless you’re at vastly different fitness levels, you’re both going to be struggling together.
Chances are that you know someone who is in the same spot as you are, fitness-wise. If not, ask the gym manager if anyone is looking for a workout buddy. Make a commitment to each other and yourselves to hold each other accountable. You’ll feel more comfortable when you’re not alone, and you can cheer each other on.
Another great place to find a workout buddy and make friends is in the exercise classes offered by your gym.
When you fail to plan, plan to fail. If you walk into the gym without a plan of action, you’ll probably spend most of your time there deciding what to do than actually working out. This will only make you feel more self-conscious.
Use a workout journal, an app on your phone, or download a template from the internet. Find a plan that is realistic, but challenging given your current level of fitness. Some gyms even have mobile apps specific to their equipment and locations.
Article by Ajima Jackson
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