The Nelson Mandela Foundation is assisting the family of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to preserve her archives. Among the collection were speeches by Mam Winnie on thermal fax paper. These have faded so badly that the only way to preserve them was to retype them. In this piece, Ntsokeko Maluleke reflects on one of the speeches discovered in the course of this work.
Winne Madikizela-Mandela addressed young people on the 20th of September 1998 when she launched the Nomzamo Mandela Sports Foundation. She outlined the importance of being a nation or country that has a shining future in sports and politics. She emphasised the importance of investing in sports because she believed it is the most vital and pivotal way to develop the youth of Africa. Mama Winnie believed that sport has done a good job to repair, unify and develop our country and many others on the continent.
She emphasised that South Africans are committed to introducing and constantly helping our sports to develop in our country and the rest of Africa towards providing a better and more focused future for the people of South Africa. She articulated what it has meant to have been involved in democratising sport on our continent with South Africa contributing towards nationalising the major confederations of sport thus ensuring that champions are made and can be idolised as positive role models.
She said, “Soccer is a very important sport in the world as is noted for the positive values especially with the youth. It instils self-discipline respect and character building which are so lacking in the society today. During the apartheid years soccer was our only sport we played amongst ourselves as we developed separately according to our ethnic groups.”
Winnie believed that for South Africa to be featured in world cup competitions is an amazing achievement for people who were so oppressed that we were unable to be exposed internationally to test our strength.
Winnie Mandela expressed relief that finally, the youth have accepted the right path of being involved in sports because she believes that this will keep them away from crime such as bank heists, robberies and hijacking. She encouraged sports to be taken to rural areas as well, expecting no geographical boundaries when it comes to sports.