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Women’s day celebration: South Africa remembers Nontsikelelo Sisulu


Consul General of South Africa Garkey Africa (second left) with other guests at the event

As part of activities to mark the country’s National Women’s Day cerebration, which is celebrated every September 6, the South African Consulate in Nigeria and South African Tourism staged a special evening in Lagos.

Held at the Federal palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the evening also created a platform to celebrate the centenary of late Nontsikelelo Sisulu, a political activist, nurse and one of the important leaders of anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Anchored by Oluwaseyi Adegoke Adeyemo of Inside Watch Africa and Mrs. Poppy Ravhura, who took guests down memory lane back to the march of 1956, explaining the meaning of the words they chanted as they walked to the Union Building, the night of celebration was attended by dignitaries, including media partners, stakeholders and Consuls General of Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and several other countries to a night of centenary celebrations.


The National Women’s Day is a yearly South African public holiday, which commemorates the 1956 women’s march in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass law and this year, South Africa remembers Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu; a political activist, a nurse and one of the important leaders of anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa.

She amongst other women spearheaded the march of 1956 and this year, South Africa celebrates her centenary.

Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, who was often referred to as the ‘Mother of the Nation’ lived with the people and lead them to rise against the abominable system of Apartheid and misogyny.

From Cape Town, Soweto to Huhundi and Galeshewe, she was known for her warmth as a leader, whose love for freedom was unwavering.

In his welcome address, the Consul General of South Africa Darkey Africa, who chronicled the legacy of Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu said, “We learn about leadership, through her suffering, we learn about the patience of a nurse to conquer pain.


We learn about her burning desire to release her people from the pain of oppression. We learn about selflessness and service to humanity.”

Africa made a call-to-action for South Africans and Africans in general to emulate the life and times of Albertina Sisulu by intensifying efforts in the society against subjugation of women.

“Mama Sisulu calls on us to forever strive for this ideal, to emancipate women so that Africa can prosper. We must now begin to nurture a 100 more Albertina Sisulus.

None amongst us can be her, but we can emulate her example, know her story and attempt to help humanity,” he said.

In her closing remarks, Ms. N Koni, reminded guests of the significance of August 9, adding, “We mark this day to remind ourselves of the great contributions women have made to build our societies, while at the same time recognize the challenges that women still face in fully enjoying their fundamental human rights.”

To South Africa, this year is of special significance as it commemorates the birth of Albertina Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and the formation of the Bantu Women’s League – the Bantu Women’s League was the first women’s organisation in South Africa, which was founded.

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