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Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaks on her relationship with deceased South African freedom fighter, Winnie Mandela

in Africa & the Diaspora by

Maxine Waters: “She knew and understood the power of women even when we didn’t understand our own power.”


In an interview by Nana Gyamfi of “The Asafo Edition,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaks on the legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela is known for the phrase, “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock,” to emphasize the strength of women in movements. Waters says that, that phrase was critical in women knowing their power. “When she said it helped to energize women around the world,” comments Waters in the interview

Madikizela-Mandela is known as the fierce comrade and wife of deceased anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela who late became South Africa’s first black president. When Nelson Mandela was jailed by a racist South African rule, she carried on the work to dismantle Apartheid, which ended in 1991.

In the interview, we play an excerpt from South African comedian, Trevor Noah who talks about the power of women. He says, “The movement in South Africa was held together in large part by women … the police in the counter were afraid of Winnie Mandela.”

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Nana Gyamfi is a human and civil rights attorney and an adjunct professor at California State University Los Angeles. Affectionately called “The People’s Attorney,” she hosts two radio shows.

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