Poem: A song for Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

By Vangile Gantsho (@Vangi22)

 

In a time when few men could carry it

You lifted the cross upon your shoulders

Not alone

Never without a doubt

You fought for a freedom our birth rights had ordained

Against the Venters and the Potgieters

Against men who parted seas to claim

A land that was never theirs

 

You fought

Suffered

Interrogations

Torture

Prisons

Banishment

To European-claimed land

Where you continued to fight

 

In a time when they thought they were strong

You fought

Until your name became unspoken

Because you feared its power

Your power

 

Even when they stole your babies’

Childhoods from you

You fought

Even when they ripped your husband

From your newlywed arms

Threw him into a concrete cell

Even when they displaced intimate moments

Between a wife and her husband

from private bedrooms to monitored visiting rooms

You fought

 

Never denying your womanhood,

Motherhood

Wifehood

Carrying your pain, vulnerable eyes

You allowed your cheekbones

to hold your head up high

Guarded your children to death

You honoured your husband as religiously as you knew how

Loved your people passionately

Fought it through

 

Never

to be forgotten

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