The youth of Pretoria descended on the State Theatre yesterday where a last-minute tribute to the late anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was hosted.
The public was invited to attend the tribute, free of charge, in memory of the mother of the nation who passed away on April 2.
The ANC stalwart represented motherhood and strength, as she endured torture and arrests to fight for her country, the youth of the capital said.
Centurion resident Thozama Figlan said she attended the tribute to celebrate the spirit of Madikizela-Mandela, who stood for her family during the apartheid regime.
“She fought and marched with other women to the Union Buildings to fight for their men so they could spend time with their families. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were never home and women were left to raise their families on their own and that is not fair. That is what the apartheid regime did,” she told Saturday Citizen.
The concert attracted fashionistas, including “walking billboard” Vuyo Bene, who wore a headdress made of dreadlocks that said “RIP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela”.
He was disappointed that the late Mama Winnie was only celebrated after her death.
“I am a trendsetter and a fashion disaster. I am a walking billboard and this [headdress] is a tribute to Mama Winnie as it is made of 100% human hair – dreadlocks and a weave, as Mama Winnie always had different hairstyles,” said Bene.
“The problem in South Africa is we are celebrating dead people. We must celebrate them while they are still alive. We must remember those who fought for us while they are still alive.”
Young photographer Pompi Sethebe wa ga Mathebe said he appreciated Madikizela-Mandela’s sacrifices as she endured torture and imprisonment to ensure freedom.
“I am able to do whatever I want because of her sacrifices. She went through a lot,” said Mathebe. “She went to prison, was tortured and electro-shocked to make sure she accomplished what she wanted. Today is a day to say everyone in the world should come together to celebrate her life.”