A Distant Role Model

As I was growing up in Ghana, West  Africa in the 1970s, we were bombarded

with the name Nelson Mandela. To us he was a giant, a colossal figure, who was

to redeem his people in South Africa. All we knew was that he was in jail and had

been since the early 1960s. For all of my elementary and high school years

Nelson Mandela had been in jail.

The only way we were connected to him and we felt a need to, was by seeking

information about his beautiful, strong and endearing wife, Winnie Mandela. She

was amazing, confident and a stalwart. Our mothers must definitely have been

influenced by her.

A role model for African women at the time. Showing us that we also could! In

Ghana we have many strong women. One woman we learned about at school is

Yaa Asantewaa an Ashanti Queen mother turned warrior. In 1900 she fought for

the rights of her people. She was a great patriarch and so I believe was

Winnie Madikizela Mandela.