HEYYYY!!!! NINA NIYIMBOKOTHO! A tribute to POPCRU women, past and present!

Zamikhaya Skade, 9 August 2017

Introduction
Having been formed in 1989, POPCRU has seen many courageous and committed women contributing to the well-being and activism of the organisation. This was despite the male dominated environment that they were working in, against all odds they persevered and excelled. We take our hats off for them, they have made us proud.

We may not be able to single out all of them from our province but the following departed comrades deserve mention:

• Pat Jam
A pioneer of gender struggles in POPCRU, a leader in her own right. She rose to become the National Secretary of the Gender Structure when the organisation formed gender structures. Nature ran its course and the comrade departed from this material world. We salute you!

• Ntsiki Xinwa
A gender activist till the end, she was amongst the first gender activists in the province. She was a shopsteward of the organisation before becoming the Provincial Chairperson of the gender structure. A leader indeed; she also left this material world. To you we shout Malibooongwe!!!!

• Zuki Figlan
A young rose who joined our organisation upon being employed in the South African Police Service; she became a committed and dedicated shopsteward who later became a Secretary of one of the biggest locals in the province. A committed PEC member wo prioritised defence of the organisation. Sadly, she passed on. Zuki, wena uyimbokotho!

• Comrade Nompazamo
A campaigner of note beyond gender activities; we will always remember you singing the song “Limenemene uMathanzima”. You were special and without you we are poorer. Heeyy nawe uyimbokotho!!!

• Comrade Thusheni
Another mbokotho, this comrade was a gender coordinator for Umthatha branch during the time of branches. A cadre who defended the organisation during difficult times. A woman who knew the difference between water and paraffin. We will always miss your contribution. You strike a woman, you strike a boulder!!!!

We may not list all of you wonderful departed women leaders, but we know you represent other courageous departed women leaders. You may be gone but your spirit is with us, it is our energy, our oxygen in our struggle against patriarchy. Nina niyimbokotho!

The above comrades will turn in their graves and curse us if we do not mention the following comrades, the living stalwarts and we mean stalwarts in the true sense:

Comrades Nomonde Botha, Avril Swarts, Ntombizonke Twetwa, Dineo Koena, Thembela Mahlathi, Nomhle Mbunge, Zanele Konzani, Zukiswa Mzalisi, Comrade Vuthu, Phathiswa Ntwana, Nomawethu Soga, Nontando Masiza; I will count till I fall asleep if I can count all of you. Like true women, you have taught us that the torch means Justice for All. Thank youuu; Nina niyimbokotho!

How can I forget one of the less celebrated POPCRU cadres, comrade Pam Bada from Mdantsane, in the former East London branch, like comrade Botha she is the recipient of the Pretty Shuping Award. Without any contribution from the organisation they catered and accommodated comrades and sacrificed their groceries without complaining. Today we are better and stronger, ngesiyini ngaphandle kwenu? Eishh inene niyimbokotho! Baninzi nabanye koko baphambuka emendweni balushiya ufefe, we will not forget your contribution but we regret your betrayal.

Thanks to you booVulindlela, today our PEC and PSC is populated by women of substance whose contribution is immeasurable. I mean comrades like; Bongiwe Mcitwa, Ntombizonke Twetwa, Siphokazi Majiza, Ntabakazi Gqibithole, Zine Juta, Thenjiwe April, Thandeka Torho, Zanele Ngxowa, Phiweka Fikani, Neliswa Nyakombi, Hombakazi Buchu, Nontobeko Yako, Nonkululeko Bandla, Nomamfengu Mavata, Ntombodumo Sonzaba, Comrade Ngoma, Lebohang Shamantla, Nyameka Joseph, Comrade Swartbooi, Cebisa Sotshongaye, Sylvia De Vrient, Thandiwe Ncipha, Nomonde Mcondobi and Neziwe Radebe. We also salute other women who serve as local gender coordinators. We mean the following comrades; Linki Theledi, Ntombomzi Mfeketho, Ayanda Mdletye, Noxolo Tize, Portia Njikelana, Zikhona Ndedwa, Mpumi Ntaka, Sindiswa Jaca Comrade Ngwenze and Nomfundo Gabuza. Iimbokotho hayi indaba yodlala!!! We rely on you! Keep the fire burning. Let the spirit of 1956 guide you as you lead us.

How do I forget our own long serving Mbokotho, Fikiswa Gaveni, masibulele koooyihlo ooTarhuni nooMarikeni with you we are strong, hayi uyimbokotho!!!
Bafazi! We value you, we value your contribution, we salute you, this is your month, enjoy it and continue to do good.
HEEYY NINA NIYIMBOKOTHO
I remain!!