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Teary Machel remembers ‘big sister’ Madikizela-Mandela

Unable to hold back the tears, Graca Machel shared her concern for the late Madikizela-Mandela’s two daughters who are now facing life without their mother.

Former First Lady Graca Machel pays tribute to the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a memorial service at the Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on 9 April 2018. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Graça Machel has paid tribute to the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on Monday afternoon, saying South Africans often wait until it’s too late to honour the country's heroes.

She's remembering the woman she affectionately calls “her big sister” at an event being hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation at Constitution Hill.

South Africa is observing 10 days of mourning after the death of the freedom fighter last Monday at the age of 81.

Unable to hold back the tears, Machel shared her concern for the late Madikizela-Mandela’s two daughters who are now facing life without their mother.

She also reflected on the late struggle stalwart’s fight for education.

Machel says Madikizela-Mandela was able to support young people during the nationwide Fees Must Fall marches and citizens can do so much more.

Singers Thandiswa Mazwai, also known as King Tha, and Yvonne Chaka Chaka are set to give performances as part of Monday’s tribute.

Meanwhile, as local film producer Anant Singh played a video depicting the life of the woman affectionately known as Mama Winnie, many in the audience shed a few tears.

Foundation board member Nikiwe Bikitsha says Madikizela-Mandela was not made by former president Nelson Mandela, although their lives were inextricably linked.

“While we celebrate the fruits of democracy and freedom, she continued to carry the burden of those forgotten and left behind by the winds of change.”

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel and struggle stalwart George Bizos were also in attendance.

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