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Alfre Woodard (United States of America (USA))

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Alfre Woodard (United States of America (USA)) Awarded for:
Her excellent contribution to the fight for social justice and racial equality during apartheid. She used her artistic talent to pose a challenge to the regime.
Profile of Alfre Woodard (United States of America (USA))

Alfre Woodard is a true champion of the anti-apartheid struggle. She was born on 8 November 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. She was a leading voice against apartheid. The first time she met Nelson Mandela was during his trip to the USA in 1990 after his release from prison. Woodard introduced Mandela at a fundraising event. Long before they met, Woodard’s passion for social justice in South Africa had been growing since she was a student at Boston University.

In 1989, she joined a handful of artists and actors, such as Danny Glover and Mary Steenburgen, to found what is now called Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA). They used their celebrity platform to shine a light on apartheid and lobby for sanctions against the regime. Woodard played the role of Winnie Mandela alongside Danny Glover in the Mandela film of 1987.

Once apartheid was conquered, Madiba approached Woodard and others in ANSA and requested that they assist in fighting another formidable foe – the HIV and AIDS pandemic. She gladly took the baton and continued the good fight for the people of South Africa. The ANSA shifted its mission and in 2005 created an orphan care programme called, “It Takes a Village” to help around 3 500 AIDS orphans in South Africa.

Woodard is an American film, stage and television actress. She has won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors’ Guild awards.