Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com
President Barack Obama in Johannesburg, South Africa
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Former President Barack Obama spoke at the centennial celebration in Johannesburg, South Africa, of Nelson Mandela’s birth by denouncing President Donald Trump without mentioning his name. A day after Trump met in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama criticized strongmen politics. “The politics of fear, resentment is on the move at a pace unimaginable just few years ago,” Obama told thousands at Wanderers Stadium. The audience gave him a standing ovation. He added that the free press and other values are under threat. Obama noted that there is a loss of shame when political leaders are caught in lies and they double down and lie some more. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was elected to office in 1994. He was born July 18, 1918. He was 95 when he died in 2013. Obama praised Mandela’s style of leadership and encouraged the youth to emulate it. “Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world,” Obama said, speaking directly to the youth in the audience. “Mandela said, ‘Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.’ Now is a good time to be aroused. Now is a good time to be fired up.” He continued, “And, for those of us who care about the legacy that we honor here today – about equality and dignity and democracy and solidarity and kindness, those of us who remain young at heart, if not in body – we have an obligation to help our youth succeed. Some of you know, here in South Africa, my Foundation is convening over the last few days, two hundred young people from across this continent who are doing the hard work of making change in their communities; who reflect Madiba’s values, who are poised to lead the way.”
(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – Tributes to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela filled the South African radio air waves this week as news of her untimely passing reached the far corners of the nation and the continent.
Heart-rending classics from the American songbook – from The Song for Mama by Boyz to Men to Donny Hathaway’s A Song for You – expressed the somber mood in the nation while social media filled with remembrances by those whose lives she touched – sometimes with a single word, sometimes with a long eulogy.
“The big tree has fallen the #MotherOfTheNation, a nation builder ulale kahle mama you have fought a good fight,you’ll remain in our hearts,” wrote AndileKaMajola on Twitter. “How I wish to have met you,” wrote Sego Bae we EFF from South Africa’s city of Randburg. “You are a woman of steel and no one will ever take away that from you mama Winnie Nonzamo Mandela. May your lovely soul rest in peace.”
The former wife of Robbin Island prisoner later president Nelson Mandela, Winnie had been in and out of Netcare Milpark Hospital battling a kidney infection, according to her spokesman, Victor Dlamini. A message from the family read: “Altho we are gutted by her passing, we are grateful for the gift of her life.”
Recently, she was an observer during the ANC’s struggle over corruption allegations that enveloped past president Jacob Zuma. She expressed confidence in the new leadership of the ANC under Cyril Ramaphosa. “We’re going to surprise the country. I’ve told them they must watch this space. I’m back,” she declared.
Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was one of nine children – six of them daughters – of two teachers and devout Methodists, Columbus Madikizela and his wife, Gertrude.
When Madikizela-Mandela moved to Johannesburg, she studied social work. There she met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957 and they married a year later and had two children.
The marriage was short-lived as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990.
Winnie was a strong single parent who raised two children while her “larger than life” husband was in prison. This was a time that the ANC and the country overall was “gendered”, spurring her struggle for women’s rights.
In May 1969, Winnie was jailed supposedly for political agitation, but more likely for simply being the wife of Nelson Mandela. Held for 17 months, she spent most of the time in solitary confinement, and was interrogated and kept awake for up to five days at a time.
The picture of her hand-in-hand with Mandela as he walked free from prison after 27 years became one of the most recognizable symbols of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The Mandela family says it will release details of the memorial and funeral services once
these have been finalized. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an official
memorial on April 14 in Orlando Stadium in Soweto. GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK creates and distributes news and feature articles on current affairs in Africa to media outlets, scholars, students and activists in the U.S. and Canada. Our goal is to introduce important new voices on topics relevant to Americans, to increase the perspectives available to readers in North America and to bring into their view information about global issues that are overlooked or under-reported by mainstream media.
Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife speaks with students
Jul 11, 2016 (GIN) – “Nelson Mandela International Day” – formalized by the U.N. General Assembly in November 2009 – recalls the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom on his birthday – July 18. It comes as Americans reflect on a wrenching week of race-related violence and the undeniable evidence of the persistence of intolerance that Mandela devoted his life to oppose.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation promotes acts of service to humanity on that day in his honor.
In December 2015, the General Assembly extended the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to raise awareness about persons in detention and to call for humane treatment of the incarcerated.
In South Africa, the 7th annual Bikers for Mandela Day will take the call for service to remote areas.
“We have crossed over 12 000 kilometers since the inception of this initiative in 2010 and assisted over 20 charitable organizations through Bikers for Mandela day. We look forward to paying tribute to Madiba’s unwavering legacy once again. We believe that every small action of goodwill leads to a larger movement in the right direction,” said organizer Zelda la Grange, formerly Madiba’s personal secretary.
In 2015, UN staff volunteers in New York, partnered with GreenThumb, East New York Farms, and the UN Food Garden, to plant seedlings, pull weeds, and water plant beds in community gardens across the city.
In Geneva, the Permanent Mission of South Africa and Serve the City Geneva have mobilized volunteers to help the poor and marginalized in the city.
Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, speaking to students this month at the Dr Mathole Motshekga Primary School in Tembisa, said: “Mandela Day gives us a way to energize our collective commitment, and it helps to know you are not doing this alone – there are millions of us. This helps build the movement of doing something good for someone else, selflessly caring for others, and remind ourselves that we belong to a global, human family.”
Also in South Africa, RACE (against time), a song against racism written and co-produced by Katlego Maboe, David Harmse and Ntokozo Mkhize will raise money for Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA).
Developed by The Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations, it takes a thoughtful look at the roots of racism. Maboe explains the title of the single: “There is a deliberate play on words. The issue of race is a matter of urgency for all of us and we all stand to lose and suffer the consequences if we don’t solve the problem in time.”
For more about the single, go to www.mitracks.fm/preorder/race-against-time