Will Winne Mandela biopic focus on heroism or crimes?





She was known to many as the Mother of the Nation, but Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the once celebrated heroine of the anti-apartheid struggle, is no stranger to controversy.

Now it seems that film-makers on both sides of the Atlantic have seen the dramatic potential.

Jennifer Hudson has been lined up to play the lead role in a Hollywood film of the revolutionary firebrand's life, and the BBC has filmed its own drama, Mrs Mandela, with Sophie Okonedo in the lead role.

But which Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will we see? The central drama in Winnie's life is whether her heroism can outshine her crimes....

When the BBC interviewed her in hiding in 1981, she spoke of plans to mobilise the country around the growing realisation that black workers were crucial to the economy....

Many viewed her as out of control. The innocent-sounding Mandela United Football Club, her personal bodyguard, was terrorising the neighbourhood in Soweto....

RW Johnson, the veteran South African commentator, summed up her popularity.

"She's scary, attractive, powerful, wealthy, an international celebrity - there aren't many people that you can say all those things of... and people respond quite powerfully to that magic," he said....


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