Home / Opinion / Lioness of her kraal to the end – Tribute to Mam Sisulu

Lioness of her kraal to the end – Tribute to Mam Sisulu


A chivalrous, fearless, one of our own, patriotic and heroic soldier of our time, mother of the nation is no more and the nation is motherless; Mama Albertina Sisulu passed on Thursday June 2, 2011 at the age of 92 and left a political cosmos which will not be easy to seal during our political lifetime. Losing a mother is not a child play, because the mother’s love is the only language known to the child’s heart. As Imbokodo, Comrade Mama Sisulu you did not allow suffering, as a result of incarceration, banishment, interrogations, harassment, foul language and name-calling from counter revolutionaries to alter your center of attention and neglect the sacrifice like quite a few did.


It is pertinent at this juncture to seize this opportune time as peace loving South Africans and people of the world and pay homage to this jingoist and a real patriot who made a dazzling contribution to the struggle for sovereignty and decorum for all in our country. A life of this special person shall be celebrated on the dot concurrently during the first anniversary of FIFA South Africa World Soccer Tournament on June 11, 2011. Mama Sisulu was not recruited by any person to fight for the freedom we all enjoy today, but she nose-dived into the liberation struggle’s hot pot because of the material conditions on the ground and emerged from years of detention, bannings and arrests as a major political figure in her own right.

Today we celebrate a life lived to the out-and-out. The kraal of this lioness remained in safe hands until the last day. She was orphaned as a teenager, run a home as a child had to provide for her younger brothers and sisters. Some years ago in her words she said “We must educate our women because often they suffer the most — and their children with them… If we all knew what was really important, we would just need to shout once.” I agree with her 101% because as a saying goes, when you educate a man, you educate an individual but when you educate a woman you educate the nation.

During that moment in time of sorrow in South Africa, an era where there was no price tag for a voting horse, non-casting votes for employment and positions for power. She agreed to be at the stewardship of United Democratic Front. This is an epoch where leadership position was not fashionable and had no celebratory social standing in a community. South African Apartheid military junta during that time killed and harassed all people wearing a black skin as if it was a curse to be an African or maybe a symptom of a treacherous disease carrier. In spite of this, few fearless daughters and sons of the soil emerged.


Her children grew up without a father, who, when he returned, became a father of the nation like President Mandela, Oom Gov Mbeki and many more leaders. To the family, her children and those happened to be closer to Mama Sisulu during her lifetime please note “ The grave crime against humanity (Apartheid) which black people were subjected to, its footprints in spite of everything is engraved in our hearts. It is important to note that bona fide leaders of Mama Sisulu’s caliber emerged out of this state of affairs, her contribution is un-measurable, your mother, your grand mother and sister walked extra mile”. It is a fact.


To Mama Albertina Sisulu, your sacrifice during the intricate journey of South Africa of yesterday, have brought today on the cards and blood sweat for your country has become our water of life. Thank you for the superfluous mile, you are indeed larger than life.


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