Iron Woman - Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu

Posted on Monday, 14 May 2018

By Themba Kojana

Category: Latest News

Mama Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu, like her first name was indeed a blessing to the nation. Being a blessing is part of her legacy. She was a pillar of strength to her husband who was one of the Revonia trialists. Her children, despite victimisation of their parents by the apartheid regime, became active in politics because she was able to raise them to oppose injustice no matter what. It comes as no surprise that one of her children is in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the governing party and is a minister in government. One of the former speakers of parliament is her son. She is the one that nominated the first black president of this country in 1994.

Like her husband, she never sought to be a populist although she had serious political muscle and history. Amongst great women of South Africa, she is always counted. The contestable title of ‘MOTHER OF THE NATION’ is also attributed to her in spite of the likes of the former wife of Madiba, Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Among her political credentials and roles, we can count her presence as the only woman in the launch of the Congress Youth League; her participation in the anti-pass march of 1956; being the first co-president of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and being the representative of UDF offshore.

In her roles she always agitated for education. Her passion for education in public was translated to her personal life. She made certain that her children get education. She is part of those that made a vow to educate the children even when it was hard, some of her people said in Xhosa ‘Singafundanga nje siza kuba fundisa rhoqo abethu abantwana’. They did not leave all the responsibility of teaching their children to teachers. Current parents should learn that education of their children requires their participation. Take her children for example, minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Max Sisulu who are educated.

- For more on this story‚ please visit SG's Corner Blog

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