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To Zeni and Zindzi Mandela (front)

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

This item consists of a letter of 2 pages written by Mandela to his daughters Zenani and Zindzi when their mother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was detained.

Page 1 of a 2 page letter written by Mandela to his daughters Zenani and Zindzi when their mother, Winnie Madikezela Mandela was detained.

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  • Title: To Zeni and Zindzi Mandela (front)
  • Date: 1969-06-23
  • Original Language: English
  • Transcript: 23-6-69 My Darlings, Once again our beloved Mummy has been arrested and now she and Daddy are away in jail. My heart bleeds as I think of her sitting in some police cell far away from home, perhaps alone and without anybody to talk to, and with nothing to read. Twenty four hours of the day longing for her little ones. It may be many months or even years before you see her again. For long you may live like orphans without your own home and parents, without the natural love, affection and protection Mummy used to give you. Now you will get no birthday or Christmas parties, no presents or new dresses, no shoes or toys. Gone are the days when, after having a warm bath in the evening, you would sit at table with Mummy and enjoy her good and simple food. Gone are the comfortable beds, the warm blankets and clean linen she used to provide. She will not be there to arrange for friends to take you to bioscopes, concerts and plays, or to tell you nice stories in the evening, help you read difficult books and to answer the many questions you would like to ask. She will be unable to give you the help and guidance you need as you grow older and as new problems arise. Perhaps never again will Mummy and Daddy join you in House no. 8115 Orlando West, the one place in the whole world that is so dear to our hearts. This is not the first time Mummy goes to jail. In October 1958, only four months after our wedding, she was arrested with 2000 other women when they protested against passes in Johannesburg and spent two weeks in jail. Last year she served four days, but now she has gone back again and I cannot tell you how long she will be away this time. All that I wish you always to bear in mind is that we have a brave and determined Mummy who loves her people with all her heart. She gave up pleasure and comfort for a life full of hardship and misery because of the deep love she has for her people and country. When you become adults and think carefully of the unpleasant experiences Mummy has gone through, and the stubbornness with which she has held to her beliefs, you will begin to realise the importance of her contribution in the battle for truth and justice and to the extent to which she has sacrificed her own personal interests and happiness. Mummy comes from a rich and respected family. She is a qualified Social 23-6-69 My Darlings, Once again our beloved Mummy has been arrested and now she and Daddy are away in jail. My heart bleeds as I think of her sitting in some police cell far away from home, perhaps alone and without anybody to talk to, and with nothing to read. Twenty four hours of the day longing for her little ones. It may be many months or even years before you see her again. For long you may live like orphans without your own home and parents, without the natural love, affection and protection Mummy used to give you. Now you will get no birthday or Christmas parties, no presents or new dresses, no shoes or toys. Gone are the days when, after having a warm bath in the evening, you would sit at table with Mummy and enjoy her good and simple food. Gone are the comfortable beds, the warm blankets and clean linen she used to provide. She will not be there to arrange for friends to take you to bioscopes, concerts and plays, or to tell you nice stories in the evening, help you read difficult books and to answer the many questions you would like to ask. She will be unable to give you the help and guidance you need as you grow older and as new problems arise. Perhaps never again will Mummy and Daddy join you in House no. 8115 Orlando West, the one place in the whole world that is so dear to our hearts. This is not the first time Mummy goes to jail. In October 1958, only four months after our wedding, she was arrested with 2000 other women when they protested against passes in Johannesburg and spent two weeks in jail. Last year she served four days, but now she has gone back again and I cannot tell you how long she will be away this time. All that I wish you always to bear in mind is that we have a brave and determined Mummy who loves her people with all her heart. She gave up pleasure and comfort for a life full of hardship and misery because of the deep love she has for her people and country. When you become adults and think carefully of the unpleasant experiences Mummy has gone through, and the stubbornness with which she has held to her beliefs, you will begin to realise the importance of her contribution in the battle for truth and justice and to the extent to which she has sacrificed her own personal interests and happiness. Mummy comes from a rich and respected family. She is a qualified Social
  • Type: Letter
  • Repository: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Reference code: ZA COM NMPP-PC-2009/6-V1.10, 23
  • Origination: Mandela, Nelson
  • Finding aids: Finding aid available
  • Extent and Medium: 2 handwritten pages, foolscap size, 1 handwritten page, foolscap size
  • Creator: Mandela, Nelson
  • Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright held by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Conditions governing access: Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Collection: Personal Letters

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