Former First Lady of South Africa, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, died early morning on April 2nd, 2018. She was 81 years old.
Winnie died after years of fighting a long-term illness. For the last several years, Winnie had suffered from diabetes and had undergone several major surgeries. Her body was severely breaking down and took a turn for the worse in early 2018.
Victor Dlamini, Mrs. Mandela’s spokesperson, shared that the illness had kept her in regular visits to the hospital since the start of 2018. Her last visit to the hospital was in part to the flu-like symptoms that she been experiencing during a Good Friday church service.
She passed away at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after spending Easter weekend in the hospital. She passed early Monday morning.
Mrs. Mandela became internationally known because of her marriage to Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. Together, Nelson and Winnie made it their mission to end the apartheid, the system of segregation in South Africa.
Throughout their years of marriage, the had two children: daughters Zeni and Zindzi. After severe political trials, the couple was forced to separate while Nelson Mandela went to prison for 27 years.
During his time in prison, his wife honored his legacy in continuing working on the apartheid, solo. Mrs. Mandela earned the title of the “Mother of The Nation.” She was deeply appreciated by her followers and worked earnestly to fight for justice.
The couple separated in 1992, although they remained friendly and civil with one another as they both recognized the bigger picture of life to be social justice. Nelson Mandela passed away in 2013 and Winnie attended his funeral.
Winnie was surrounded by her family who- although heartbroken- has asked others to celebrate her life rather than mourn her life.