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South Africans are Remembering the Late Anti-Apartheid Veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Today marks a year since her death.

Last year, the "Mother of the Nation", Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, passed away after being ill for some time. South Africans were in mourning as they bid farewell to a woman who had fought her entire life for the liberation of Black people and consequently endured all manner of torture by the Apartheid regime.


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife to the late struggle hero Nelson Mandela, was an unapologetic and militant freedom fighter. She was political way before she married Mandela. However, her contribution to South Africa's democracy was overshadowed by what many South Africans have come to know as Stratcom, a group during Apartheid whose sole purpose was to spread misinformation and carry out smear campaigns of the leaders of underground opposition parties.

In Madikizela-Mandela's case, this is said to have been evident in the controversial trial where she was accused of killing a teenage activist named Stompie Seipei. Although she was found not guilty and Jerry Richardson was instead charged and sentenced for Stompie's murder, the occurrence of the trial itself followed her negatively for the rest of her life.

In efforts to continue to honor the late anti-Apartheid struggle veteran, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been spearheading the motion to have Cape Town International Airport named after Madikizela-Mandela. After a major road was named after the struggle hero earlier this year, the motion to rename Cape Town International Airport may not be too out of reach.

Described as a figure of tremendous strength and resilience, South Africans everywhere are remembering Madikizela-Mandela today and all that she meant to each of them personally.

READ: A Tribute to the Late Apartheid Struggle Veteran, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela











Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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