Women across South Africa paid tribute to Mama Winnie Mandela on Friday, 6 April, when they dressed in #allblackwithadoek.
Social media was abuzz with women posting photos of themselves dressed in solidarity with the hashtag. The memo was circulated via Whatsapp before hand and the message reached far and wide.
Njabs Zwane, a radio presenter from Durban, said that the movement paid tribute and empowered women. “My participation with the movement was purely to commemorate and honour mama Winnie Mandela. The black clothes were to mourn and also to celebrate and the doek was, for me, a way to assert my power, as black women by using an item that was worn by domestic workers and now become a fashion item. The doek was an item that once made our mothers feel inferior, and now we have taken control of that as fashion item used to assert our power as black women,” added Zwane.
Support was seen in Cape Town at Fetola, an organisation that supports emerging entrepreneurs across SA. “We chose to support this movement because #allblackwithadoek celebrates the life of an incredible, strong woman who fought for human rights and freedom for so many people during the Apartheid years,” said Amandla Mali of Fetola.
“As a black female I recognise what Winnie did for black females in South Africa. She fought for our rights and I am where I am today because of her and that is why I love her. She fought for the poor, for the minority and stood up for those who had no voice,” added Mali.
From Kempton Park in Johannesburg, Nyakalo Ndlovu, joined the cause to show that she understood the struggles that Winnie Madikizela Mandela went through. “Yesterday was our tribute to her, she multiplied through us and she will continue to do so. Women in South Africa stood together and we shared their beautiful images in tribute,” said Chovu.
In Midrand, Johannesburg, Nondyebo Chovu decided to support the movement because ‘uMamWinnie’ sacrificed her best life for freedom and equality.
“As a mom myself I can’t even begin to imagine what she went through not being able to be with her kids with everything else that she was experiencing. This is me as a woman, paying respect, celebrating her life and mourning her death. As a woman there is a Winnie in me and today,” said Chovu.