MEMORIAL SERVICE OF
NONTSIKELELO ALBERTINA SISULU
CALL HER BLESSED!
V. 1. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
V. 20.She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
V. 25. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
V. 26. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
V. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
V. 29. Many women do noble things but you Albertina, surpass them all.
V. 30. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeing but a woman that fears the lord shall be praised.
V. 31. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city.
The first time I met Ma Sisulu at her home in Orlando West, I was with one of his sons, Zwelakhe and two other activists in the late 1977’s immediately after the South Africa Government banned 18 Black Consciousness organizations.
Ma Sisulu as we affectionately called her was confined to her home under the South African banning order. She was not supposed to be in the presence of more than two people at a time. If she could be found in the presence of more than two people at a time, she was going to be arrested for contravening her banning order and sent to jail.
I was a member of the
In our text, Proverbs 31, King Solomon, the one who requested Wisdom when he took power as a King decided to end his book on Proverbs with a chapter honoring a woman, a wife and an activist.
Proverbs are wise sayings relating to spiritual truths and common sense. There are 31 Chapters in the Book of Proverbs and I would challenge everyone to take a month with 31 days and read a chapter a day. I can assure you that by the end of the month you will be different and wiser.
King Solomon raises a critical and thought provoking question in the first verse of the Chapter 31. “A wife of noble character, who can find her? If you can find her, you will see that she is worth far more than rubies (V. 2). She is worth more that the earthly treasures. There is no enough lobola for her. Who can find a virtuous woman? Who can find a woman we can call her “BLESSED?”
This evening as we gather at this Memorial Service, at
Why is Ma Sisulu a woman of noble character? Why is Ma Sisulu a virtuous woman? Why do we call her “Blessed?”
1. SHE IS A WOMAN WITH PRESENCE. When you are in her company you feel a certain kind of her aura and profound presence. She was quiet, no noise and no drama. In our text, Proverbs 31 verse 25 and 26 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instructions are on her tongue.” When you are in her presence you learn a lot. She used to say “I am pleased to see young ladies in the struggle “She encouraged us. I was a young woman in the twenties when we visited her. We also got strength from her as she was a fearless woman. We wanted to be like her. She was banned and she was not being able to continue actively organizing the struggle as she did in 1956 with the Women’s Anti-Pass laws demonstrations. We were not banned as yet and we traveled throughout
2. SHE WAS A WOMAN WITH PURPOSE. Ma Sisulu was clear about her purpose in life. She was first a wife. She knew how to be a wife. She was indeed a helpmate, not a helpmaid. She knew how to walk not in front or at the back but beside her husband, Ntate Walter Sisulu. Her decades under banning orders, house arrests and her husband Ntate Sisulu’s life imprisonment at
Her purpose was not only a wife, mother, she was an activist. She started with the August 9, 1956 protest against the pass laws. “Wa thinta umfazi, wa thinta umbokotho. (You have touched woman you has struck a rock) She was arrested, banned; active in the then Housewives league now ANC Women’s league and Co-founder of United Front. She was a comrade and a heroine. She fought on two fronts, in the total Anti-Apartheid struggle of the people and gender equality for women. Call her revolutionary, Call her comrade. Above all call her ‘Blessed!’
3. A WOMAN WITH PEACE.
When Ntate Walter Sisulu was confined to
Looking back at her life with profound presence, intentional purpose and perfect peace, Ma Sisulu fits the model of a woman with a noble character who Solomon describes as he ends his book of the Proverbs.
Her children call her ‘Blessed.’ Some may call her Nontsikelelo, Thethiwe, Albertina, Ma Sisulu, nurse, comrade, heroine, mother of the nation, tonight in her memory we call her “ BLESSED!” “BLESSED! “ “BLESSED”
These Words of Comfort were delivered at the Memorial Service of Mrs. Albertina Sisulu on June 9, 2011, 6
“Copyright 2010 Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, Life Restoration Ministry”
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs