Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 81.
The anti-apartheid campaigner and second wife of the late Mandela, passed away after a long illness, her personal assistant confirmed on Monday.
She was married to Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and icon of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, for 38 years, with Mandela spending 27 of those behind bars.
Born in a village in Bizana, a town in Transkei [now known as Eastern Cape], on September 26, 1936, to a history teacher, Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela moved to Johannesburg in 1953 to pursue studies in social work.
Soon afterwards she met Mandela in Johannesburg.
“Their first date was lunch at an Indian restaurant near [Nelson] Mandela’s law office. Sixteen years her senior, he was amused at her inability to eat the spicy curry,” Stephanie Hanes, who covered South Africa from 2005 to 2009, writes in an ob