What is there to be said that hasn’t already been said in praise of the great mam’ Winnie Madikizela Mandela. This is by far the hardest lesson to distill into a short write up. The lessons have been plenty and truly meaningful. One thing I can grasp as a singular theme is her ability to embrace the complexity of being a woman.
I may sound like a broken record but this is a lesson I have had to keep learning and relearning with every new phase of my womanhood: We are not one dimensional. We are all the women we care to be. It’s a difficult lesson to keep because every now and then our need for acceptance drives us to cling to the persona we see most praised by those around us. When we show our other less desireable facets, we are met with a cold shoulder and we quickly return to the comfortable version of ourselves that we are certain has mass appeal.
When I consider Winne Mandela, and I do often, I think of her as many women. A fighter, bold woman in the face of adversity, an empathetic mother after hardship, a vibrant friend, the darling of a nation, a wife facing life’s many twists and turns. I think of her confidently wearing each of her roles fearlessly and with grace. She was not one to turn a coy cheek when life called for a fight.
These lessons seem to come from all around me, from many of the women in my life. My grandmother, my mothers, my friends and relatives. It seems to be a trait I am drawn to in women. I love a woman who is not afraid to be her many truthful selves. Winnie has done this all her life with a kind of ease that I have always idolized.
I pray I grow into a woman that is brave when rejected, graceful when provoked and fearless when adversity comes my way. In short, I want very deeply to own every crevice of my womanhood – a miracle performed daily by Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
Cap – Edgars ( at Sandton City)
Top – Edgars ( at Sandton City)
Camper – Edgars ( at Sandton City)
High-waisted Leggings – Edgars ( at Sandton City)
Sneakers – Models Own