AmaMpondo honour and pay Tribute to Mama Winnie Mandela
On the 28 January 2017, AmaMpondo from the Mpondo Kingdom in the Eastern Cape and from various parts of South Africa, Royalty and Traditional Leaders ascended in their numbers to Orlando, Soweto, Gauteng to pay live tribute and honour to liberation activist and ANC Stalwart Mama Winnie Mandela for the sacrifices she made and the meaningful role she played for the liberation struggle of South Africa.
Photo: Minister Nohema, Princess Stella Sigcau and Mama Winnie Mandela
They were joined by Mayors including the Mayor of OR Tambo District Municipality and Alfred Nzo District Municipality.
Mama Winnie Mandela was born in Mbizana in the Mpondo Kingdom and comes from a Royal family of amaNgutyana clan. Amampondo are the descendants of uMbo. Abambo apparently migrated south from the great lakes around the 1570s. They travelled through Tanganyika to Zambezi where they settled for the longest time. History tells that upon crossing the Zambezi River they moved further South and later broke into various Kingdoms, including the Hlubi, Mpondo, Mpondomise Kingdoms amongst others.
The Mpondo nation has played a very significant role in the history of South Africa’s liberation struggle and colonial resistance. King Marhelane of AmaMpondo was one of the seven founding Kings of the ANC at its inception in 1912.
Mpondoland has also produced great political legends, leaders and icons notably Tata OR Tambo and Mama Winnie Mandela who played a significant role in the struggle for liberation of all South Africa.
Amampondo nation also produced the likes of Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau son of King Jongilizwe, a liberation activist and African National Congress Stalwart.
Mama Winnie Mandela is also known for representing the needs of the poor, rural people and women.
The delegation from the Mpondo Kingdom brought along gifts which included Zebra hide amongst others fit for a Princess to honour her. Various traditional items were rendered and speeches made by various Chiefs. The Chiefs also took a moment to share with Mama about the need for development and investment in the Mpondo Kingdom.
His Excellency former SA Ambassador Dumisani Gwadiso, who is also a Mpondo Chief emphasised the need for farming to be revived. He also expressed the need for investment and development in the Mpondo Kingdom.
Princess Stella Sigcau, who is also the co-founder of the Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival conveyed to Mama Winnie the wish of the organisers to honour her by conferring the highest Award, which is the first of its kind, the King Sigcau Bravery and Lifetime Award at her birth place, the Mpondo Kingdom during the Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival, held annually in September. Princess Stella Sigcau also reiterated the need for development and investment in the Mpondo Kingdom including in the tourism sector, rural and economic development amongst others.
September, when the Festival is held, remains important in Mpondo History. It is also the month when two Kings of Mpondoland King Mqikela and King Sigcau were born. The Festival was launched in 2006 in commemoration of the late ANC Stalwart and liberation activist, Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau who was the son of the late King Jongilizwe of amaMpondo.
It was launched to promote, market, share and develop Mpondo culture, history and language. It was also launched to promote unity in a diversity of cultures which is why it is multicultural and also to contribute to the government's heritage programme. It also seeks to attract investment and contribute to economic, tourism, rural development.
The Award to be conferred to Mama Mandela is named after one of the bravest Mpondo Kings Sigcau who defied the Rhodes Administration and resisted Colonial polices imposed in the Mpondo Kingdom. This led to him being arrested and sent to Robben Island in the late 1800s.
Prince Sonwabile Ndamase, the founder of the Madiba T Shirts and CEO of Vukani fashions who is also a close friend of the Mandela family emphasised that when Mama Winnie was not well, it was important for her people from the Mpondo Kingdom to come and visit her to wish her well. As one of the co-ordinators of the visit he expressed his satisfaction on the success of the visit. Mama Winnie Mandela expressed heartfelt joy and appreciation for this visit. The guests were treated to traditional food and entertained by both traditional music and dances as well struggle songs.
By Stella Sigcau