Albertina Sisulu Jerry Dunfey & Nadine HackWith deepest feelings of love for Mama Albertina Sisulu, we share with the Sisulu family members, the South African nation and freedom loving people throughout the world in the sorrow of her death at age 92 and the joy of knowing the magnificence of who she was. We can envision her joining her husband Tata Walter Sisulu, as being side by side is who they are in life and death. South Africa was blessed to have such fearless yet humble leaders who always served their nation, community and family. We knew and loved them for a very long time: we will cherish and honor their memory.  Mama served on our Global Citizens Circle International Advisory Board since its inception. Shortly after Tata’s release from prison on their first joint visit to the US, we presented the two of them with the Global Citizens Award in 1991. Members of our family have visited them in South Africa and members of their family have visited and stayed with us in the US.  Three generations of their family, headed by Tata and Mama, hosted our 68-member GCC delegation visit to South Africa in 1998.  Four generations of their family hosted us at her home the last time we visited Mama Albertina.  

Leaders of the ANC, closest advisors to Nelson Mandela as Walter recruited Madiba to South Africa’s freedom struggle, Parliament members of the post-apartheid nation, these two giants will be missed by generations who grew under their guidance. As Mandela wrote in the forward to the book, Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime, “Their stories have become one in this history of our struggle…their marriage in the service of the struggle…Albertina is one of those women who suffered immensely and who struggled heroically without ever flinching.”

Jerry Dunfey Walter Sisulu & 3 great-grandkidsPlease share your tributes to this great leader of our lifetime as comments to this post.Albertina Sisulu surrounded by loving son daughter & great granddaughter Albertina & Walter Sisulu receive Global Citizens Award 1991Jerry Lindiwe & Shaka at Regina Mundi memorial service ANC Women's LeagueMax Sisulu in front of Jerry & Pumzile at Regina Mundi memorial service ANC Women's LeagueJerry Pumzile & Lindiwe at Regina Mundi memorial service ANC Women's League

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo - GM,The Soweto Hotel on Freedom Square June 6, 2011, 12:04 am

    Beautiful. We thank you for this lovely tribute to our leaders who have run the race and have now gone to their rest, having passed on their batons to the next generation of South Africans who enjoy the fruits of their labor – our Freedom. May mama and tata Sisulu rest in eternal peace.

  • Vicky Kente June 6, 2011, 9:00 am

    Dear Nadine and Lindiwe
    It is a great tribute to our Mama Sisulu, who has sacrificed her life for the poor and underpriviledged people of not just South Africa but the world. So that we as human beings will understand that you cannot be happy if there is somebody who is hungry or not enjoying freedom.

    Lala Ngoxolo Ntsiki! Rest in Peace Ntsiki!

    Vicky Kente
    Producer and Communications Consultant
    Kente Productions /IMANI MEDIA South Africa

  • Lisa Kurth June 6, 2011, 10:13 am

    So much of her work and life will live on in the hearts and minds of South Africans and beyond. Her family has inspired an entirely new generation of good will and action against injustice. Her legacy and spirit will certainly continue to live on! It is a reminder that in the struggle to do the right thing, we can find the joy and happiness that it supplants in the place of these pains.

    Blessings to her soul and her extended family, wherever they may be!

  • Lillian Petty June 6, 2011, 10:27 am

    It is a great day to reflect and remember how Mama Sisulu along with Tata Sisula and their family elegantly through strife preserved family values, shared their strength and elgance with the world and leave a legacy of ‘right to prevail’ in our hearts forever. May they rest in Peace forever and that we through our actions cherish their spirits of Freedom and Justice for All.

  • Richard E Hammond June 6, 2011, 11:04 am

    Nadine, Thanks for this. From about 1968 to her death in 2000, I was privileged to know another great and brave South African woman, Mary Benson, initially around the Allard Lowenstein campaigns in New York. Mary spoke, wrote, and campaigned internationally against apartheid and for a new and free South Africa, and she often cited the unbounded courage and inspirational brilliance of Walter and Albertina Sisulu.

    Mary wrote what l believe was the first history of the ANC [The African Patriots: The Story of The African National Congress of South Africa, Mary Benson, published by Penguin]. [See also, Mary Benson, Nelson Mandela: The Man and the Movement (1986); Benson’s autobiography, A Far Cry (London: 1989); and other novels and BBC radio plays]. Walter and Albertina appear often in the accounts of the decades through which their heroism, and that of only a handful of others, was the hourly endurance of stifling and violent repression. Their impassioned, determined resistance to it was not then on view to the rest of the world, and often was invisible even in South Africa.

    Richard Hammond
    Hammond Law Office
    San Francisco, CA

  • sidney topol June 6, 2011, 11:17 am

    The world looks with awe and respect and thanks to those great fighters in South Africa …those that never gave up the good fight for freedom and dignity.

  • Sally Fisher June 6, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Though Intersect Worldwide has been on hiatus & I have not been in South Africa this year, I am indeed sad at the news of this moving and empassioned woman’s death. But I am reminded of a quote by WF Murray, which says something akin to wanting to be thoroughly used up when he died, because the more he served, the more he lived. Albertina Sislu both lived and served well and so it is with a smile that remember her contribution to the country she loved.

  • Danny Schechter June 6, 2011, 2:59 pm

    Danny Schechter has sent you a message. Date: 6/06/2011
    Subject: RE: Albertina Sisulu, South African icon, dies at 92
    Albertina Sisulu may have been the mother of South Africa’s change but she was so much more: humble, dedicated, gutsy, engaged on every level, and willing to sacrifice for the future,

    She was one of a cadre of leaders who showed the way, lived the movement’s values and walked the talk. We all are in her debt.

    I was so proud to meet her and Walter, to visit their home, and know some members of her family.

    They inspired me then…and inspire me now,

    Danny Schechter
    Activist and Journalist
    Producer, South Africa Now 1988-91

  • Judith Thompson June 7, 2011, 10:41 am

    Nadine: Thank you so much for sending on this news, which offered me the opportunity to bask in the memory of Mama and Tata Sisulu during the 1998 GCC delegation to South Africa — a trip filled with so much inspiration and learning — but nothing was quite as memorable as sitting in their home and hearing the story of the birth of a nation directly from and through them. It was an honor to be present and to have even a brief glimpse of the greatness of these two souls. She will be missed, yet remain as a beacon of courage and vision for women and men everywhere.

    Judith Thompson
    Social Healing Institute

  • Rodney Ellis June 7, 2011, 11:45 am

    In my career as a legislator, I have the privilege of meeting some of the world’s premier leaders. While I am honored to be in the presence of all of them, few humble and inspire me like Mama Albertina Sisulu. Mama Sisulu understood that the struggle for human rights is necessarily intertwined and inseparable from the struggle for the rights of women, black Africans, and the poor. She recognized that a revolution could be as peaceful as just saying no.

    I mourn with South Africa as we say farewell to a true heroine, but rejoice in the eternal hope and momentum she gave a nation.

  • Sipho Kunene June 8, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Mama Albertina Sisulu’s fight for our freedoms and rights, her selfless giving and sacrifice, are great examples for our youth in South Africa and around the world. What a remarkable and strong soul who helped change the face of a nation. I never had the honor of meeting Mama Sisulu but to be touched by her did not require being in her physical presence. I was fortunate enough to have been able to attend the memorial service for Mama Albertina Sisulu’s late husband Walter Sisulu here in NY some years ago. What puts a smile on my face is that they are now together again in the land of the spirits. Thank you Mama Albertina Sisulu!

    Sipho Kunene
    Drummer with
    Harry Belafonte
    Hugh Masekela
    Abdullah Ibrahim

  • zeldi vanstraten June 8, 2011, 7:43 pm

    Nadine, you wrote such a beautiful message that we all can agree with.

    With your permission, I would like to print your message and paste it into the front of the Book of Condolences for her, here in Singapore.

    All South African Diplomatic Offices (Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates) in all countries will have a Condolences Books for the next few days for the public to write messages in. These books will then be presented to the Sisulu family.

    SA High Commission

  • Wadzanai Katsande June 9, 2011, 2:57 am

    A true powerhouse we have lost a leader. My condolences to the Sisulu family

  • Juditta _ ToWo project June 16, 2011, 7:24 am

    Sorry to hear
    Yet so much has been done shared given so generously whilst living :-)
    Such a big inspiration.

  • Alon Liel July 15, 2011, 11:18 am

    Dear Nadine,
    I read your wonderful words about Albertina Sisulu – so well deserved.

    I knew Albertina since 1987 when I first visited her in Soweto as Israel’s envoy. She was a very unusual and courage’s lady. It was not simple at all too meet an Israeli diplomat these days… After Walter was released we became good friends too. Unusual leaders, both of them.

    We, here in Israel, very much need these days leaders of such a magnitude.
    Alon Liel


Leave a Comment