Winnie Mandela celebrated her 80th birthday last week in Cape Town and reminded us all to bow down to Blackness. Not looking a year over 40, Winnie delivered a heartfelt and comedic speech giving thanks for all of the acknowledgement she received and also poking a little fun at herself.
“I had to keep pinching myself to find out whether I’m really still alive,” she proclaimed to the crowd, adding that she was surprised to make it into old age considering all of the people she offended at one time or another.
The controversial Civil Right’s revolutionary, referred to by her supporters as “Mother of the Nation,” was known both for her activism and staunch support of husband Nelson Mandela. While he was imprisoned, she became the face of the movement and a liaison between Mandela and the public. Though her later career was marred by a trial that found her personally responsible for the abduction, murder and assault of numerous men, women and children, much of her legacy as a freedom fighter prevails.
And somehow, after decades of fighting at the forefront of South Africa’s political battles, Winnie Mandela is still teaching the world the lesson that “Black don’t crack.”
Check out her full speech here: