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Zoleka Mandela’s last painful days with Ma Winnie Mandela

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The entire country was submerged into a state of mourning when Ma Winnie’s death was confirmed in April this year. The political stalwart died at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg from a long-standing illness.

It’s no secret that Ma Winnie and Zoleka were inseparable and had a bond that was unshakeable.  Zoleka Mandela has for the first time spoken out about how her grandmother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s death has left her completely shattered.

Zoleka, who has been away from the spotlight for the past four months has penned a heart-wrenching letter, which reveals how she’s struggling to come to terms with her grandmother’s death.

Zoleka Mandela

“I always knew that this loss would completely destroy me, I feel like I don’t even recognize myself anymore. Nothing will ever be the same without the one I loved more than I loved myself.”

Zoleka said she had so many questions about why Ma Winnie left her without saying goodbye.

“I know I can’t bring myself to pray but with each day that passes, I wish I struggle less with why you left without saying goodbye and with staying up all night so scared and angry about having to live the rest of my life not knowing why you chose not to tell any of us that you were dying.”

Ma Winnie

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The emotionally-charged letter was also filled with moments of anger from Zoleka, who slammed people for not being there when Ma Winnie needed support and company.

“I’m tired of everyone around me pretending to have been the closest person to you. It only hurts more. Where were they when you were suffering in silence and pretending to be okay, when you actually needed their company and not another request from them to take more pictures with you that they are now posting on social media to advance their own interests?”

Zoleka went on to detail the hours that led up to Ma Winnie’s death and lashed out over not being there when she took her dying breath.

“Why did you wait until I left the hospital to go home and change, for you to take your last dying breath without me? Is it because I always fell apart when you got sick or when you were in pain that I never gave you the chance to be weak so I could be strong for you for a change?”

The author and social activist said she was riddled with guilt that Ma Winnie kept her “dying secret” to herself.

“I’m sorry, Ma. I’m falling apart at just the thought that you must have felt so alone at that time if you did, I’m crying because you didn’t have to keep your dying a secret from any of us. If you needed me to be stronger for you to tell me that you only had a few more days, I know I wasn’t and I’m truly sorry. I have so much guilt.”

Zoleka shared a heartwarming photo slide along with the letter. Watch it below.

Source: Times Live



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