GCIS Media Statement: 100th Birthday of Albertina Sisulu

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Thethiwe was born on the 21st October 1918, in the village of Camama in the Eastern Cape. On Sunday the 21st October 2018 South Africa will be celebrating what would have been MaSisulu’s 100th Birthday under the theme: Albertina Sisulu “A woman of fortitude”. This is in recognition of her lifelong struggle for freedom and democracy underpinned by courage, discipline, integrity and the love for her country.

MaSisulu’s life was characterised by service with high levels of integrity and dignity. She was a health worker who never wavered from her values as a caring, professional nurse and midwife. She led with humility, as she fought for the human rights of others, never tiring in her pursuit for equality and justice for all.

In commemorating MaSisulu’s Centenary, all spheres of governments including the private sector hosted several events across the country. Government also dedicated the 2018 Women’s month to the life and legacy of MaSisulu and celebrated under the theme: “100 years of Albertina Sisulu: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward.”

Some of the highlights is the lecture that was hosted on Tuesday the 9th October 2018 which was presented by Mrs Graca Machel.

On 9 October 2018 Cabinet members wore T-shirts, a regalia designed to mark the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu. Portion of the proceeds from the T-shirts will go to the Albertina Sisulu Bursary Fund for Nurses. 

Call to action for the Nation
Ladies and gentlemen, as we move towards to what could have been 100 years birthday of MaSisulu, Cabinet calls on all our people to honour her memory by embracing her spirit by volunteering at primary health care centres, crèches, and regularly visiting those in our community that are in need for help and support.

In her words, MaSisulu said “in my family ubuntu was a case of action not words.”

Let us awaken the MaSisulu spirit in all of us and encourage the younger generations to carry the baton in continuing MaSisulu’s legacy.

Women of Fortitude Campaign (#WowenOfFortitude)
Drawing on the inspiration of MaSisulu, government will launch #WomenOfFortitude which is a movement of 100 women to drive the conversation of how women today can continue on the legacy of MaSisulu.

These women are expected to create a chain of active citizenry and invite women all over the world to become #WomenOfFortitude and change the world by leading as women. 

The following are selected values for the Criteria of #WowenOfFortitude

  • Passionate and committed to inspiring positive change for a better South Africa
  • Displays strength of character, resilience, courage and bravery
  • A high level of professionalism in their respective fields of work
  • An inspiration to women
  • Appreciation of the Legacy of MaSisulu
  • Ability and willingness to initiate ideas or projects that can contribute to disadvantaged communities and make a meaningful difference

The date for the #WowenOfFortitude launch will be announced in due course. 

The Commemoration of the MaSisulu 100th year Birthday Celebration -21st October 2018

In commemorating MaSisulu birthday on Sunday the 21st October 2018, the President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa, will join the Sisulu family by laying a wreath at MaSisulu’s grave site, starting at 07h30.

This will be followed by a special church service at 09h30 which will be held at the Orlando West Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto.

The official unveiling of the renovated crèche next to the church and a symbolic 600 metres walk to the library.

Lunch will be served at the Albertina Sisulu School for children with disabilities.

All initiatives are in Orlando West except for the wreath laying that is in Coerus Cemetery in Johannesburg.

On the same day government urges all South Africans and the world to join the President and the Sisulu family in a national prayer honouring the life and legacy of MaSisulu

The Sisulu family have partnered with Global Citizens in advocating for the SDG health and gender goals to further MaSisulu`s commitment to both health care and women`s rights.

A comprehensive programme of activities will be placed on the government website www.gcis.co.za www.gcis.gov.za

To honour MaSisulu’s memory, join the conversation on #MaSisulu100