Zanele Mbeki

At a time like this I stop to reflect on how I met Jennifer, what kind of relationship we had and what impact she had on my life. We’ve come a long way from NEUM workshops at her home when I was a student at Wits (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) in the early 1960’s and reconnecting in the Movement in the USA in the 70’s.  A relentless fighter against injustice throughout her life.  She was among those teachers who shaped my thinking especially about inclusivity and leaving no one behind.  

What I also remember is that I had my very first alcoholic sprit at her house.  I had never taken an alcoholic drink ever.  Someone poured a clear watery drink into my glass as we arrived.  I gulped it all immediately because I was thirsty.  I coughed violently before someone brought me orange juice.  I had never seen gin nor vodka before.  I still do not know what I drank!

Please convey my gratitude that I am one among the multitudes whose progressive thinking she shaped through all her organizing. She gave so much.  She will be sadly missed.  Sincere condolences to her children, Kered and her huge extended family around the world whose lives she touched.

Zanele Mbeki, former First Lady of South Africa  

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