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3 things to remember about Winnie Mandela — one seriously badass woman.

She led a complicated life, but it was incredible.

3 things to remember about Winnie Mandela — one seriously badass woman.

On April 2, 2018, the world lost one of the most influential anti-apartheid activists in history.    

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of South African president and hero Nelson Mandela, died at the age of 81.

Photo by Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images.


Apartheid, a South African racial segregation policy that existed between 1948 and 1994, was an inhumane, racist societal structure that destroyed the lives of South African black people for decades. Madikizela-Mandela became the face and mother of the anti-apartheid movement during the 27 years of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, and she became a figure that many came to respect and admire in her own right.

Madikizela-Mandela led an incredibly courageous — and complex — life.  As with most activists, she wasn’t perfect. She confessed to her role in brutal crimes, and her very public and complicated life took a toll on her personal life. But Madikizela-Mandela acknowledged and apologized for many of her mistakes toward the end of her life.

Regardless of how people think of her, it’s impossible to not recognize the importance of her life.

Here are three things to remember about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

1. She believed in ending apartheid and helping others long before meeting and marrying Nelson Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela was a top student throughout school. A trained social worker, she also obtained a degree in international relations and began anti-apartheid activism as in her 20s.

Her first job was working as a social worker at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. In a time when activists were attacked, tortured, and killed, her public anti-apartheid views and works were unusual and invaluable. She was fearless, courageous, and unapologetic in her journey to helping others.    

2. She was the considered the “mother” of the anti-apartheid movement and post-apartheid South Africa.    

When Nelson Mandela was arrested and imprisoned in 1964, Winnie continued to carry on her husband’s legacy and mission.

This work came at a great cost: She was frequently detained by the South African government, making her subject to house arrest, reported torture, and extended periods of solitary confinement. During the later years of her husband’s imprisonment, she was exiled to the town of Brandfort in the Orange Free State and confined to the area, aside from rare times that she was allowed to visit her husband at the prison on Robben Island.

Unbeknownst to many, Madikizela-Mandela also did time in prison for her radical views. In 1969 and 1970, she spent 17 months in solitary confinement at Pretoria Central Prison.    

Eventually, she was recognized for her human rights work. In 1985, she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

In April 2016, Madikizela-Mandela received one of South Africa’s highest honors: the Order of Luthuli, given, in part, for contributions to the struggle for democracy.

Photo by Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images.

3. In a very feminist act, she refused to be defined by her husband.

While Winnie repeatedly supported and expressed her love for her husband, she refused to be defined by him.

Known as a charming politician and activist, Madikizela-Mandela had a devoted following of her own among the most poor and disenfranchised communities in South Africa.  

Photo by Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images.

Proudly known as being much more radical than her inclusive husband, Madikizela-Mandela led her own charge for democracy. The two divorced in 1996, and afterward, she was often asked about any chances at reconciliation. She replied, “I am not fighting to be the countrys first lady. In fact, I am not the sort of person to carry beautiful flowers and be an ornament to everyone.

In spite of her divorce, she continued to be a political presence as a member of Parliament, as well as by representing the African National Congress.

Madikizela-Mandela led a life most can only imagine. Fraught with hardship, imprisonment, and personal challenges, she had her share of issues and failings. But without her dedication and hard work, South Africa likely wouldn’t be the apartheid-free nation it is today.

Her power and strength was undeniable, and we can take the best of her life’s work and apply it to continuous fights against injustice and inequality in our world today.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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