MaNontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was a South African heroine whose resilience in the face of the severest adversity, whose courage and conviction and compassion, were foundation stones in South Africa’s freedom.
With her late husband Walter Sisulu imprisoned for more than two decades with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, Ma Sisulu bore an extraordinary burden with humility and grace..
She was subjected to house arrest, harassment and detention but raised a household of activists who occupy senior positions in society today. She also found the time to lend a helping hand in the upbringing of other freedom fighters’ children, including young Mandelas. She was a dedicated nurse, courageous advocate for the empowerment of women, a colossus in her community, and a leader of the United Democratic Front. A servant of her people. A mother of her nation.
The Nelson Mandela Museum is a national heritage institution situated in the footprints of Mr Mandela’s childhood in rural Transkei. It is an area that yielded extraordinary human riches, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Steve Biko, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Robert Sobukwe, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, among them.
The selflessness of these leaders created the conditions in which the apartheid wall could crumble, in which Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, raised in the villages of Mvezo, Qunu and Mqhekezweni, could become South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
MaSisulu epitomised the spirit and grace of this generation of leaders.
To the Sisulu family, we say: Thank you for sharing your mother with us. Hers was a life full of meaning. She is an example to follow, a light that will burn bright, forever.
CEO: Nelson Mandela Museum