The Mother of the Nation
By Tebogo Ditshego
While the struggle has been romanticised,
truth is, it was a living hell,
The legacy of which remains today, the ashes we still smell,
In the shacks of Khayelitsha & Diepsloot, the stench of apartheid’s inferno lingers on,
In the landlessness & lack of equal economic opportunities the stench remains very strong,
Mama Winnie, you raised this without fear of consequences, you were consistent,
For you prioritised justice over your own interests,
During apartheid they stripped you of your rights to mother your own creation,
Little did they know, you’ll be the Mother of the Nation,
I wonder how it felt to be punished for asking questions,
7 days and 7 nights of torture in your bloody & brutal detention,
Where did you get the fortitude to do 18 months in solitary confinement?
Or to hold the torch of liberation high to ensure there’s no misalignment,
But they have the tenacity to ask why you were livid,
At a system that tried to burn all you had to ashes because of your pigment,
The same people who used the K-word countless times after a smash and grab in all their vanity,
Will ask why you were angry at a crime against humanity?
After many decades of blood, sweat and tears, freedom was on the horizon,
You walked hand in hand with uTata Madiba, your clinched fist raised in the air, as rock solid as diamonds,
These many sacrifices were the seeds that bore the fruits of our democracy,
But you never let justice go, as you exposed its hypocrisy,
But as the years went by I wonder how it felt to be betrayed & ignored,
For exercising the very freedoms you risked your life for,
Did it feel like getting one thousand lashes and being thrown on a cactus? Hands in bondage while being asphyxiated in plastic? Being forced alive in a casket and burnt to ashes?
That’s not romantic, that’s more than traumatic,
For the pain you endured is more than just tragic,
While in our darkest hour they stripped you of your rights to mother your own creation,
Little did they know, you’ll be the Mother of the Nation!