Winnie Madikizela Clan Names History and Origin

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away April 2, at age 81, as the wife and steadfast advocate of Nelson Mandela and for his causes. Her legacy as an activist resonated with Biblical women who braved oppression to stand against injustice.

Madikizela clan names are relatively prevalent across various parts of the globe. Here are a few:.

Winnie Madikizela Clan Names

  1. Madikizela
  2. Mvulane
  3. Khondlo
  4. Faku
  5. Mpondo
  6. Mqhayi


The Xhosa people live in extended families known as clans that trace back through male lineage. Traditionally they were farmers who kept livestock such as cattle. Furthermore, they are well known for their unique cultural traditions surrounding childbirth and puberty rites of passage ceremonies.

Religion and musical tradition play an integral part of tribal life; many tribes combine Christian beliefs with traditional tribal practices for an amalgamated form of belief called syncretism. Drums, whistles, flutes and rattles form their musical repertoire.

In the 1960s, many Xhosa men left their homelands as labour migrants to seek work in South African industrial centres such as Johannesburg and King William’s Town – disrupting family and community life along the way.

Contrary to some tribes, the Xhosa do not place daughters-in-law with much regard; they are expected to adhere to protocol and not walk towards the kraal or greet elderly male family members, making eye contact. This was something which alarmed Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela of Abathembu royal house whose marriage with Nelson was described by Winnie as an “arduous yet seductive struggle”. She noted how serving Nelson required both physical and psychological sacrifice from her: waking before and sleeping after him as well as having to serve someone whom expect a lot from you.


Botswana’s largest Bantu-speaking peoples, the Tswana are predominantly cattle herders and farmers who traditionally adhered to their own set of beliefs and customs, but today many follow Christianity while adhering to both traditions.

Tswana clan names often reflect either their founder or their totem animal, such as in the case of Bakgatla ba Kgafela and Bakgatla ba Mmakau who both use kgabo as their totem animal; however, their respective clan leaders differ; with Mmakau chief being considered the senior leader between both clans should any issues arise between them and are ultimately resolved by him as their senior representative.

President Cyril Ramaphose spoke at the memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Soweto and defended her as an excellent wife and mother. At her memorial service in Soweto, one woman who married into Abathembu royal family shared their experiences with their husband-to-be and said daughters-in-law were often disregarded by older members in the household; not permitted to walk towards kraals, greet elderly men in the house, or make eye contact.


Historical accounts describe Sotho peoples as divided among several tribes, such as Transval Sotho; western Sotho or Tswana and southern Sotho often known as Basuto, who all congregated around Basotholand or Lesotho/Free State today and identify themselves by clan names denoting ancestral roots.

Sotho means “above and below,” reflecting their belief in both an invisible spiritual world as well as physical reality. They acknowledge and remember these departed spirits through ritual and practice.

One of the most intriguing features of Sotho culture is shamanism. These individuals are well known for their use of herbalist healers and beliefs in spiritual matters; unlike some religions they do not adhere to one religion but instead believe in various spirits such as their ancestor’s spirit (Nurnberger 1975). Furthermore, Sotho society remains relatively secular with men frequently having multiple wives and children (see Nurnberger 1975).


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who died April 2 at 81, may be the world’s best-known black woman. As the “Mother of the Nation”, she kept her husband’s memory alive during his 27 years on Robben Island as well as personifying South Africa’s fight against apartheid – she was an eloquent speaker, tireless worker and sometimes even harsh critic of African National Congress (ANC).

She was also a divisive figure, both loved and hated. As leader of the ANC Women’s League and an elected member of Parliament following South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994, she made waves for her staunch opposition to apartheid policies; yet many criticized her unrelenting attacks against apartheid policies as she led an incessant assault against it. Additionally, many accused her of engaging in “necklacing”, or placing burning tyres around suspected informants’ necks to torture them further.

No other woman holds such an exclusive place in South African political history – both within and at times beyond the ANC. She has been celebrated by poets, immortalised by writers and celebrated by photographers; yet fraud convictions and allegations of crime from corruption to murder may yet seep through and destroy her legacy.


Dutch family names tend to be patronymics derived from an ancestor’s personal name. This form of surname became increasingly prevalent with the advent of civil registry in the Low Countries. Surnames reflect all cultures which have had an impactful history of shaping Dutch society; spelling variations exist such as Bakker (baker), Beek (stream) or Van Der Berg/Van de Berg which refers to living near hills or mountains.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died peacefully at home in Johannesburg, South Africa early Monday morning at age 81, following a life marked by controversy and defined by dual identities: respected activist and unprincipled revolutionary. Winnie was married to Nelson Mandela – South Africa’s first democratically elected president – who became known by her clan name Madiba. At one point during her turbulent relationship, she tried kissing Thabo Mbeki, her ex-husband’s successor; Mbeki quickly blocked her and pushed her away causing thousands of spectators in full view of thousands.

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