Winnie celebrates 80th birthday in Soweto

Winnie Madikizela Mandela celebrating her birthday in Soweto Picture: Julia Madibogo
Winnie Madikizela Mandela celebrating her birthday in Soweto
Picture: Julia Madibogo

Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela celebrated her birthday in characteristic style with thousands of ANC Women’s League members in Orlando West‚ Soweto on Monday.

Madikizela Mandela turned 80.

Her birthday celebrations which have been going on since early September in parts of the country‚ including Cape Town‚ continued in her township of residence on Monday afternoon.

A 4 500-seater marquee was erected at the Orlando West gardens where thousands of people‚ mostly the elderly and young women‚ came bearing gifts for ‘mama Winnie’.

Clad in a green‚ black and gold ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) t-shirt and a black skirt‚ Madikizela Mandela arrived a few minutes late in happy spirits.

She walked to the stage as she waved to attendees while ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini embraced her.

The Women’s League had arranged to bring in 100 women from different provinces including the Free State‚ Limpopo and Eastern Cape‚ all dressed in green party t-shirts as a birthday surprise for her.

“We are here to celebrate a woman with a big heart and love in her‚ the mother of the nation‚” said Dlamini.

The birthday celebration was also attended by International Relations minister and ANCWL Treasurer General Maite Nkoana Mashabane‚ Zodwa Mandela and radio personality Chriselda Dudumashe.

Madikizela Mandela was serenaded by musicians Sechaba and Lundi as guests tucked into pap‚ gravy and chicken‚ and quaffed their fill of cool drinks.

Celebrations were expected to continue with an invitation-only gala dinner at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg later on Monday night.

— TMG Digital

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