By: Lance Mosiea
A woman of great courage, character and respect – hauled as a shining beacon for women across the barriers of creed, race & age, Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma is nothing less than extraordinary. Her monumental accomplishments, hard fought, victorious battles to tear down the walls of the degradation & condescension of women across the continent & the world over has moulded her into becoming the “superwoman” she is regarded to be to so many people.
Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma had a humble upringing in Natal – being one of 8 children born in a household that was moulded by the oppression & tremendous difficulty to strive & become, for a person of colour in the Apartheid times, her mandate was to become educated, and that she did. In 1971 she obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Zululand, majoring in Botany and Zoology. She then strived to further complete her Medical Degree at the University of Natal.
With the solid backing of her educational achievements, Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma joined various Student Movements against the Struggle and subsequently became an underground member of the sleeping giant, the ANC (African National Congress) which was, in its banned state in the 1970s to the late 1980s. She still strived to make a noticeable difference and showcase the power that resonates from that which is called woman.
Like most stalwarts, exile was a bondage she became sacrificed to. But she successfully managed to complete her medical studies in Briston. She also completed her studies in tropical child health, in which she triumphantly obtained a diploma in. During her years of exile, it is then when Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma met her future husband, the President of the Republic of South Africa – Jacob Zuma.
Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma embodied pure excellence in every department she has ever been placed in high rank of. Fast forward to the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, when South Africa was finally seeing the glimpse of light that democracy was yet to behold, it was Nkosazna Dlhamini-Zuma who formed part of the Gender Advisory Committee within the negotiation talks. She served as Health Minister on the cabinet of the first democratically elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. During her tenor as minister, she was criticized for many decisions she took for the betterment of society as the pandemic of the HI-Virus was growing at a massive rate, crippling the newly birthed democratic society, ailing the blooming economy and putting a dent on the well-being of all the citizens of the country as a new struggle manifested itself, unseen and dangerous.
Yet she still strived under the pressure, relieving the poor an allowing them to access free medical facilities and healthcare, free of charge. Compassion – a characteristic truly shown and embodied by, again, she who calls herself woman. During the administration of defiant President Thabo Mbeki, she served as Foreign Affairs minister. The list of accomplishments and successes achieved in this tenor – numerous are extraordinary. She solidified her stance within the ruling party and in as a pivotal figure, the world over in the fight for the equality and recognition of women in male-dominated arenas.
Now serving as the Minister of Home Affairs in the administration of her former husband, President Jacob Zuma, Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma has made a landmark victory that shall forever shine bright in the history books. She became the first woman to become chairperson of the AU Commission, ousting incumbent Jean Ping who hails from Gabin. This victory not only characterised the above-par leader Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma is, but also the fighting spirit she as a woman holds – that spirit that tore down the walls of belittlement and exclusion of woman in important decision-making committees and portfolios the world over. She has motivated so many people, across the spectrum of race, colour, creed and most importantly, gender.
Honourable Minister Nkosazana Dlhamini-Zuma is excellence personified in its boldest form.