#016: The Many Lives of Winnie Mandela

  • The Many Lives of Winnie Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and famous ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, passed away on April 2 2018.

Born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), she earned a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from University of Witwatersrand. In the 1960s, she rose to international prominence as one of the faces of the anti-apartheid struggle and the fearless wife of Nelson Mandela, who was at the time imprisoned for "sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government." 

 Winnie's place in fighting for black rights in South Africa has been solidified in history, even though quite battered by scandals which especially plagued later years of her life. She was perpetually accused of being too radical and violent, and was even expelled from Nelson Mandela's cabinet (on which she served as deputy arts and science minister at the time).  She served as a member of the South African Parliament from 1994 to 2003, and from 2009 to 2018.

Regardless of her reputation or likability, Winnie was steadfast in her activism and was undoubtedly a hero for black South African rights.

Read for: "She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, banning and banishment"





  • Arise Fashion Week & The Naomi Campbell Effect

The princess of the catwalk, Naomi Campbell, sashayed down the runway at Nigeria's Arise Fashion Week for designers Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Tiffany Amber and KLûK CGDT. In this article, Stephanie Hirschmiller explores the effect of Naomi's visit on the blossoming Nigerian fashion industry and the broader African fashion industry (hint: Naomi calls for a Vogue Africa).

Note that the fashion industry is a major player in the global economy (McKinsey estimates that the global fashion industry is worth about $2.4 trillion); the African Development Bank has had its eye on the industry as a key pathway to further grow African economies in the next decade.

Read for: “We just had a Vogue Arabia, [Vogue Africa] is the next progression. It has to be....Africa has never had the opportunity to be out there and their fabrics and their materials and their designs be accepted on the global platform. It shouldn't be that way."




  • Life-Cycle Approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) published a systematic review of water, sanitation and hygiene programs and policies to best ensure access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. The review discusses major barriers to WASH facilities in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Africa - unsurprisingly, the most identified factors affecting access to WASH facilities are "inadequacy of WASH services or facilities, inaccessibility (time and distance) and attitudinal barriers (lack of knowledge and awareness). 

Read for: "'Women were the focus of a relatively large number of policies using life-cycle segmentation, followed by children and populations living with disabilities."




  • Grace's Ivory Tower

Former Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe, is under investigation for allegedly arranging ivory shipments abroad as 'gifts' for foreign leaders. According to the Irish Times, police are in possession of documents which show that Grace was directly involved in shipping large consignments of ivory across the world, particularly to China, the UAE and the US.

Although ivory trade is not illegal in Zimbabwe, it is regulated and may not be exported - therefore, international shipment of ivory is a crime. Reports note that Grace will be questioned about her role in the shipments in the coming weeks.

Read for: "Nicknamed 'Gucci Grace' for her lavish lifestyle, Mrs Mugabe's wealth has prompted many critics to ask where it came from, and led to suspicions that she was involved in illegal activities."  




  • Fatou Bensouda Hunts Another

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has officially arrested and transferred notorious Malian jihadist, Al Hassan, into the custody of the ICC. Al Hassan is accused of war crimes, participation in the destruction of ancient sites and facilitation of the rape and torture of young girls. 

Fatou Bensouda, although regarded as a stalwart in the international justice field and highlighted as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People (in 2017), has been criticized for making too few convictions as Chief Prosecutor thus far. To its defense, her Office has insists that it will only pursue cases with "strong evidentiary foundation."

Read for: "My Office's strategic plans and policies, including on sexual and gender-based crimes, reinforce our commitment to bring forward cases only guided and built on strong evidentiary foundation. The charges we have brought against the suspect in this case are a function of that approach."


Nneoma NwankwoComment