#WomenOfFortitude to drive MaSisulu's legacy

Thursday, October 11, 2018

In drawing on the inspiration of Mama Albertina Sisulu, government will be launching #WomenOfFortitude, a movement of 100 women to drive the conversation of how women today can continue the legacy left by MaSisulu.

“These women are expected to create a chain of active citizenry and invite women all over the world to become #WomenOfFortitude and change the world by leading as women,” Energy Minister and Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) Chairperson on Centenary Celebrations, Jeff Radebe, announced on Thursday.

The selected values for the Criteria of #WomenOfFortitude include:

  • Passionate and committed to inspiring positive change for a better South Africa; 
  • Displays strength of character, resilience, courage and bravery;
  • A high level of professionalism in their respective fields of work;
  • An inspiration to women;
  • Appreciation of the Legacy of MaSisulu; and
  • Ability and willingness to initiate ideas or projects that can contribute to disadvantaged communities and make a meaningful difference.

The date for the #WomenOfFortitude launch is expected to be announced in due course.

Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Thethiwe was born on the 21 October 1918, in the village of Camama in the Eastern Cape. She died in 2011 at the age of 92.

On Sunday 21 October 2018, South Africa will be celebrating what would have been her 100th Birthday under the theme: Albertina Sisulu “A woman of fortitude”. This is in recognition of her lifelong struggle for freedom and democracy underpinned by courage, discipline, integrity and the love for her country.

Updating the media on the preparations for MaSisulu’s 100th  birthday celebration on 21 October 2018, Radebe announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will join the Sisulu family by laying a wreath at MaSisulu’s grave site.

“The ceremony will start at 07:30am, followed by a special church service at 09:30am, which will be held at the Orlando West Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto,” Radebe said.

The event will end with an official unveiling of the renovated crèche next to the church and a symbolic 600 metres walk to the library, and lunch will be served at the Albertina Sisulu School for children with disabilities.

“All initiatives (will take place) in Orlando West except for the wreath laying that is in Coerus Cemetery in Johannesburg,” Radebe said.

National Prayer Day

On the same day, government also urged all South Africans and the world to join the President and the Sisulu family in a national prayer honouring the life and legacy of MaSisulu.

Radebe said the Sisulu family have partnered with Global Citizens in advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), health and gender goals to further MaSisulu’s commitment to both health care and women’s rights.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has called on all people to honour Sisulu’s memory by embracing her spirit by volunteering at primary health care centres, crèches, and regularly visiting people in the community that are in need for help and support

“In her words, MaSisulu said ‘in my family ubuntu was a case of action not words’, let us awaken the MaSisulu spirit in all of us and encourage the younger generations to carry the baton in continuing MaSisulu’s legacy,” Radebe said.

In commemorating MaSisulu’s Centenary, all spheres of governments, including the private sector hosted several events across the country. 

Government has also dedicated the 2018 Women's Month to the life and legacy of MaSisulu and celebrated under the theme: “100 years of Albertina Sisulu: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”.

Some of the highlights of the events, which took place included a lecture, presented on Tuesday by wife of former and late President Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel.

On Wednesday, Cabinet members wore T-shirts, a regalia designed to mark the centenary of Mama Sisulu.

Radebe said the portion of the proceeds from the T-shirts will go to the Albertina Sisulu Bursary Fund for Nurses.

A comprehensive programme of activities will be placed on the government website www.gcis.gov.za – SAnews.gov.za