Winnie Madikizela Mandela‘s life has been described as a remarkable journey of a truly remarkable woman.

That was the message delivered by the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations – the keynote speaker at the first of two memorials to be held in New York over two days.

New Yorkers, mainly African Americans from Harlem, gathered at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church to celebrate and remember an icon whom they continue to hold in high esteem.

Amina Mohammed said Mam’ Winnie was and will forever remain a force multiplier.

“Today, I am with millions of people who never had the good fortune to meet Mama Winnie Mandela, but inspired by her every day of our lives, everyday of our lives. She loomed larger than life for all of us, Winnie was the mother of the struggle. Winnie was the sister who kept the movement going while so many men were imprisoned or exiled. Winnie was a daughter of Africa who embodied the proverb “when you strike a woman, you strike a rock”.”

Mam’ Winnie’s close friend and personal assistant Ntsiki Langford has described her physical beauty in some detail, calling her a show-stopper; in addition, one who was keenly perceptive about what was going on in people’s lives.

“As we remember our mother of the nation, the mother of Harlem, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela, for her fearlessness, compassion, he grace and beauty, we salute her.”