vendredi 6 avril 2018
Winnie Mandela is gone.
A fighting woman who was never in the shadow of her husband, Winnie Mandela got married with the fight of all those who fought with flesh and blood against the apartheid system. This system killed numerous women and men who had courage beyond courage, and the hope of freeing themselves from the tentacles of racism, erected into a perverse system.
The struggle against the new formations of this system continues today. As long as it remains alive, so will too the powerful example of Winnie Mandela. In fact, her life will be celebrated long after social, cultural, economic, and epistemic apartheid are vanquished.
The memory of Winnie Mandela stands against every person and every leader who turns a blind eye to injustice, land appropriation, unjust imprisonment, colonization, and the violation of fundamental human rights and the international law, be it in South Africa, Palestine, the United States, or elsewhere. Her example of conviction, passion, and commitment for the emancipation of South Africa does not stop in South African borders, like it happened with many advocates for the end of apartheid in the West, who have been slow to repond to various ethnocides in the African continent. And it does not stop in the formal end of legal apartheid either.
The fighters who struggled and continue to struggle against apartheid in South Africa, were able to attract the attention of an impressive amount of people, many of whom became supporters. This struggle was paid with the life of many fighters such as the great Steve Biko. It took their tenacity and sacrifice for an important dimension of structural racism to be vanquished. Winnie Mandela, Mama Afrika, was one of these great and courageous leaders. She stood against the cynism of those who believed that change was not possible, and continues to stand against the indifference of those who fail to understand the ways in which terrifying dimensions of apartheid remain, and who therefore also fail to understand the continued importance of black consciousness and black liberation.
In Soweto, in other places of South Africa, and everywhere else she went, Winnie Mandela was a fighter, sometimes by herself and sometimes in companionship with Nelson Mandela and other fighters. Her determination and independence made her a hero among many in the brave South African youth who have changed the social and political landscape of South Africa, and who have inspired movements for a free and decolonized education in various parts of the world.
The Frantz Fanon Foundation pays homage to Winnie Mandela, and salutes all of those who have understood the deep significance of her life and work. Alongside Winnie Mandela and all of them, the Foundation stands with everyone who fights against the disaster of structural dehumanization and coloniality, and with everyone who stands against the production and reproduction of continuing forms of apartheid today.
The path of emancipation is long, and the memory of Winnie Mandela will remain with us all the steps of the way.