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Tutu Puoane

“I was born in 1979 and grew up in the townships of Pretoria. I was a child during the time of apartheid. It was a literal war; there was tear gas, there were confrontations with the police, but I don’t remember living in fear. I felt very protected by my mother. When apartheid ended in 1994, little changed other than on paper. Winne Mandela wanted palpable changes, but Nelson gave up far too much for peace. There was an agreement: we were free to go where we wanted. However, all of the country still belonged to the people who controlled it during the time of apartheid – the people who had stolen the country from us. Thus, crime remained. Murders were still committed. South Africa did not process the trauma, so it continued to seep out.

I hope that people come to the performance with an open mind, even if they have a flawed image of Winnie Mandela. By interweaving the true story of Winnie with our own stories and tragedies, we are attempting to connect it to the present day and the struggle of (black) women in general.”

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