Crossing Borders Statement on the passing of our Patron Ambassador Zindzi N. Mandela

Today, we received the sad news that Crossing Borders Patron HE Ambassador Zindzi Mandela of South Africa to Denmark has made the transition in a Joburg hospital early today 13 July 2020. 

 As someone who was born and grew up in the forefront of the struggle against the racist apartheid system, Zindzi’s life was defined by and a true embodiment of the struggle for freedom. Her father Nelson Mandela was snatched away when she was only 18 months and kept behind bars for 27 years. Her mother Mama Winnie was constantly in and out of apartheid detentions, including repeated banishments to remote areas. To attend school, she was sent to Swaziland along with her sister Ambassador Zinani. When the two sisters came for school holiday the apartheid police would make sure to detain Mama Winnie until they had to return back. The day her father was released in 1990, the apartheid police murdered her partner. This experience made her more determined to fight for fredom, equal rights and justice for all anytime and anywhere.

Thus, as Ambassador to Denmark, she was unapologetic and undiplomatic when it came to people´s freedom and justice. Ambassador Zindizi unprecedently committed a lot of her time in Denmark to visiting, comforting, empowering, listening to, cooking, baking for and serving those who have been pushed to the margins of society: homeless persons, refugees, asylum seekers, victims of violence, deportees who were languishing in deportation centres. She also arranged family days and took part in International Women’s Day. She served as a true human rights ambassador and activist.

As we join millions of others in paying tribute to her life, we at Crossing Borders say thank you dear Ambassador Zindzi N. Mandela for your inspiration, determination and couragous example in being the ambassador of the voiceless. We promise to continue your struggle for a better world for all. 

In this heartbreaking moment, our sincere condolences and thoughts go to the entire Madikizela-Mandela Family and all those who were fortunate to be touched by you. 

On behalf of Crossing Borders

Mariano Davies, Chair Advisory Board, Sara Omar, Life Ambassador, Vibeke Quaade, Chair Executive Board and Garba Diallo, Executive Director


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