Legendary singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka during a Madiba tribute at the Market Theatre thanked Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for ensuring that the icon’s memory remained in the minds of South Africans while he was in jail.
The singing princess of Africa developed a close bond with the former President after his release from prison. They visited each other from time to time and she often performed on his request.
Speaking at the Market Theatre on Wednesday, where the local arts community gathered to pay homage to their beloved Tata, Chaka Chaka praised his ex-wife Winnie for the part she played during the apartheid struggle.
“If it wasn’t for Winnie Mandela, the name Nelson Mandela would have died,” she said, according to the Sowetan.
“She conscientised us. She made us sing about Mandela. She took the bull by the horns. I have so much respect for her.”
She also entertained the crowd with a tale about a nerve-wracking visit from the humble Madiba.
“He called me once and said he wanted to visit my house,” she recalled, according to eNCA.
“I cooked everything there was to cook and he just had pap and wors.
"The first time he came to my house I didn't know what to say. As we sat down dining, I eventually asked if we were now going to drive white people out of the country. He said no, it is important to forgive.”
(Image Credit: Yvonne Chaka Chaka Official Facebook Page)