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Winnie Mandela: Flawed Heroine?

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South African activist, Winnie Madikizela Mandela has died at the age of 81 after battling a long illness. She was once married to former South Africa’s beloved President, Nelson Mandela of blessed memory but she never cowered in his shadow she was an activist in her own right.
When Gertrude and Columbus Madikizela had their fourth daughter in 1936, they gave her the name Nom Zamo if indeed parents have premonitions of their children’s lives, Winnie Mandela was aptly named “Nom Zamo’ in their native Xhosa Language while literally means “she who strives: for more than six decades, she spent her life striving for justice for herself, her family and her country until her death on Monday April 2nd 2018 at the age of 81.
Her famed marriage to the symbol of anti-apartheid was bound to make her a collaborator in the fight against racial segregation in that country, but her struggle actually began before the two met at a time when it was a rarity for black people to go to school. She attended the Jan H Hopmeyr School of social work and earned a degree in social work at the age of 20.
It was not until two years later that she met a handsome fourth-year-old man at a bus stop where she was trying to get home from her job as a social worker, Rolih Lahla Nelson Mandela a tall charming man and soon enough a romance ensued between them.
Winnie was weary that the man was married and had three children already. He convinced her that the marriage had become strained as a result of his involvement into politics. Eventually, Mandela’s first wife Evelyn Mase filed for divorce, citing adultery on the part of her husband that same year, 1958 Mandela and Winnie got married, their happiness was doomed to be short lived.
In five years, the couple had two daughters, Zenani and Zindziwa but due to his work in fighting against apartheid Mandela was frequently picked up and charged to court. However, in 1963, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of planning a violent over throw of the government.
The responsibility of continuing the struggle fell on the young wife’s shoulders and she carried on where Mandela stopped, she was arrested and detained several times often tortured, but her spirit was never broken she led the political party ANC like an Athena. In 1969 she was kept in solitary confinement for 18 months.
Even when she was banished to exile in 1977, her house was bombed twice by apartheid operatives, but her work was not without controversy. She was widely criticized for endorsing the killing of political opponents and quoted in 1986 as saying: “with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country (Necklacing as in the burning of people with tyres around their necks).
She was also said to have a security force known as Mandela United Football Club whose role was to kill opponents and turncoats Most notoriously, she and her body guards were accused of slitting the throat of 14 years-old-Stompie Moeketsi who they suspected to be a police informer. She was given a six year jail term but offered the option of a fine.
Her criminal accusations also included several cases of intimidation and blackmail, little wonder publications described her as a “tarnished symbols. When Mandela was released from prison in 1990, she was on his arm and sang the “Bring him home song”. She was by default the frist lady of the new democratic South, Africa.
Like it was before Mandela’s conviction the love was short lived the couple separated in 1992 and finally divorced in 1994. Winnie’s affair with a young lawyer, Dali Mpofu proved too bitter a pill for the old man to swallow, still she was part of his cabinet as deputy minister of Arts, Culture Science and Technology until she was sacked in 1985 after allegations of corruption, she later included her maiden name in full appellation going by Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
In 2003, she was again found guilty of embezzlement and given a suspended sentence of three years, but she returned to politics as a member of parliament from 2009 until her death. Every hero has an achilles heel, perhaps Winnie Mandela’ hubris was her unflinching conviction in whatever she believed in, even when it seemed like the end did not actually justify the means.
She was unflinching and blessed or is it cursed with a scatting tongue. She once reportedly called Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu ( another revered figure in South Africa) a cretin, Mandela himself was not left out of her sharp criticism His Concilliatory approach to the new South Africa with something she did not agree with Mandela did not go to prison and he went in there as a burning young revolutionary”, she once said an interview. But look what came out, Mandela let us down, he agreed to a bad deal for the blacks.
Nevertheless, her devotion to Mandela continued until he died. Many observers believed that the two were sole mates and never actually stopped loving each other even if she went to court to prove that their divorce was a fraud and he completely left her out of his will. Graca Machel whom Mandela later married also had a courteous relationship with her and once said.
“It is unfortunate that in our lives we don’t interact very easily, but I want to state very clearly that Winnie is my hero, Winnie is someone I respect highly since her passing on Monday several nes outlets have described her as a flawed hero mugger and controversial, but she would not have minded her life she repeatedly said was dedicated to the struggle against shite rule, in her words: “I was married to the ANC, it was the best marriage I ever had, I am not sorry, I would never be sorry, I would do everything I did again if I had to everything”, Winnie is survived by two daughters, eight grandchildren and a nation in mourning source, net news ltd.

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Monarch Calls For Peaceful Yuletide Celebration,  As Community Buries Traditional Ruler

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The Paramount ruler of Emohua kingdom in Rivers State,  Ohna (Sir) Sergent Awuse, has called for peaceful celebrations of christmas and new year, as he enjoined the youths to be law abiding and shun violence during the festive period.
The first class traditional ruler made the call last Saturday, while preforming the Ohna Emohua burial rights in respect of late Ohna (Hon) Emmanuel A. Obinna at Mgbuitanwo in Emohua community,  amidst jubilation for a life well lived.
Ohna Awuse, the Olo IV, Nneweli Emohua XIII urged the people of the community to always uphold and showcase the age long culture and tradition of Emohua Clan. He stressed that their culture is their identity and way of life and a community without culture and tradition is like a sheep without Shepherd.
The monarch noted that late Ohna Emmanuel Obinna would be remembered for his role in promoting the ancient culture and tradition of Emohua. He stated that his demise had left a big vaccum in Emohua kingdom, but the legacies he left behind would live after him.
In his vote of thanks,  his successor and acting head of Mgbu Owhor community in Emohua, Chief V.C. Obinna, thanked the Ohna supreme council for the honour they gave to their departed colleague by giving him a befeating burial in line with the culture and tradition of Ohna Emohua, the highest traditional institution in Emohua kingdom. Which the late traditional ruler championed in his life time on earth.
Chief V.C Obinna maintained that apart from being a foremost traditionalist, he was also a devout Christian who contributed immensely to the growth of the Christian faith in Emohua community and beyond.
Also speaking at the well attended event,  the chief mourner, Dr Weli Obinna reiterated that his late father lived an upright life, those he left behind would take solace in God because their father and mentor lived a fulfilled life he came, he saw and he conquered to the glory of God and left the scene at the ripe age of 92.

By: Jacob Obinna

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Rivers Set For Yuletide Celebration Despite Odds

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As this year’s Christmas and New year celebrations beckon, The Tide investigations have revealed that most of the residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and its environs are not enthusiastic about the Christmas and new year celebrations. Most of the people interviewed expressed the feelings of solemn and gloomy festive period due to the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
One of the respondents, Mr. Solomon Duru,  a civil servant resident at the D-Line axis of the city, complained of the rising cost of staple foods in the market, such as rice, beans, tomato, yam etc. which were sold at exubitant prices and  had made it extremely difficult to provide two square meals for his family of five, “It is life first before celebration,” he said.
Another respondent who sells garri at Mile One Market, Diobu , Port Harcourt,  Madam Dorathy Duke maintained that garri which used to be the poor man’s food has become the rich man’s food. According to her, a basin of garri that was sold for #3000.00 is now sold for between #7000.00 and #8000.00, while five cups of garri that used to be sold for #200.00 now cost #500.00.
“Even at the prevailing price today, garri has become a scarce commodity even when you succeed in getting it, there are no buyers , there is trouble in the country,  Nigeria has now become Ghana of those days when they ran to Nigeria to take refuge due to their poor economy , but today the reverse is the case, may God help us”,  she said.
A transporter in Abali Park, Mile1, Mr. Sunday Udo, lamented the lack of patronage due to the hike  in transport fares as a result of the unprecendented rise in petrol and other petrolum products. He stressed that even vulcanizers and mechanics are in trouble as patronage from car owners decrease every day due to poor economy.
It was the same woefull story when The Tide visited a supermarket attendant along Aba/ Port Harcourt Express Road who pleaded anonymity. He disclosed that it was no longer business as usuall as most of their customers had disappeared due to the increase in the price of goods. “We record poor sales daily to the extent that the management has decided to reduce the workforce, my brother, it is double wahala for dead body” according to Fela”,  he said.
However,  a mass communication student of the Rivers State University Port Harcourt,  Mr. Abel Dike, noted that Nigerians were used to suffering and smiling, so this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations would come and go,  this year would not be different despite the sufferings. People would still enjoy themselves even with their last kobo.
“People will still go to catch fun with their loved ones at their favourite relaxation joints,  hangouts, cinemas, amusement parks and night clubs. Residential houses, churches and public places will also wear new looks with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations,  even communities are ready to mark their annual carnivals,  beach parties, cultural and masquerade dances as well as wrestling competitions   and other social activities to mark the festive period,  so I believe all is not lost despite the bad economy,” he said.
Meanwhile,  Pastor Silas Wosa of St. Pauls Anglican Church Diobu noted that Christian faithfulls all over the world would celebrate the Christmas. “Christmas is the biggest celebration and holiday every year,  because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God who came to the world to redeem mankind” he stressed.

By: Jacob Obinna

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2022 Christmas: Festival Galore In Port Harcourt, Bayelsa

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As the 2022 Christmas season draws closer, events have continued to fly in the air, festivities have become the centre of attraction in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The common fact that the hike in the prices of goods and food stuff are now triple the usual costs in the market is yet to put a halt on turns of event going on, in and around the state to celebrate the Christmas season
However, Shabach Dance Academy, Port Harcourt held her All White Carol, Awards and Dinner event on Wednesday, which also, witnessed the presence of Itohan Agbator, Nigerian Idol Top 5 Finalist and Founder of Itohan Teens Talent Initiative as a Special Guest at the occasion, where she sang Oh Holy Night to give the occasion that flavour of Christmas.
She congratulated the award winners and encouraged all the dancers to keep working hard in following their dreams for future feats.
Meanwhile,the Organiser of the event, Mr Oliver Emmanuel, thanked all Shabach Dance Members and parents for gracing the event. He also appreciated Itohan (Baby Dragon) for gracing the event and showing support to young talents always.
Also, today, in Bayelsa State, the Government House will be entertained with the performance of the Garden City Choir for her Carol event tagged Bayelsa State Christmas Carol of Nine Lessons.
The Director, Garden City Choir, Isaac Iwuoha, who is also the Assistant Choir Master, St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Port Harcourt disclosed this to The Tide Entertainment, yesterday.
He explained that logistics have already been put in place for his group to perform at the event.
Meanwhile, organiser of the Abuloma Beach Party at Sand City, Abuloma, Iweriso Godbless, has confirmed that the second edition of the fiesta will hold on Monday.
According to him, the event which was a one-day event last year, would now hold for two days, on 26th and 27th December respectively, as it promises to feature Artistes such as M. I.C, Gbenga Owolo, Splendid and up coming artiste, Teekay to perform at the beach party.

By: Nancy Briggs

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