Naomi Campbell has taken to the podium to pay their last respects to her close friend Winnie Mandela, widow of the struggle icon Nelson Mandela. The supermodel joined Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenenani on April 14 when the people from all over the world gathered to say their last good-bye to Mum’Winnie.
Naomi Campbell who first met Madikizela-Mandela in 1990 said Winni was just an ‘epitome of courage and strength’ for everyone. Then young model Naomi accompanied Nelson Mandela on his first visit to New York in 1990 and was impressed with the charisma of this couple. Winnie and Nelson weren’t just common spouses, they were the closest friends, said Naomi.
The supermodel arrived at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg after the service had already begun‚ and was ushered in by Minister Jeff Radebe’s wife‚ Bridget. Naomi paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela after a brief address by ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe.
Ms Campbell spoke of how warm Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was to everyone, the supermodel always visited Mum’Winnie during her trips to South Africa.
“She was a heroine of the whole continent. She never ever waiver in her conviction and courage‚”
Naomi recalled and broke down into tears as she concluded her speech‚ saying:
“We are lucky to have witnessed her greatness and her courage …”
Winnie Mandela, her role in ANC Women’s League
In the 1990s, the ANC Women’s League pushed for Madikizela-Mandela to be elected to the top leadership of the ANC and the country but failed in its attempt. Now, the Congress insists the country must have a Winnie Mandela Day. That could be the best commemoration of this strong woman’s life.
“Your spirit will live on‚”
The ANC Women’s League president‚ Bathabile Dlamini said to the deceased leader. Zondwa Mandela, the granddaughter of Mama Winnie, thanked thousands of the mourners for the support given to his family in their time of grief.