Nomzamo Nobandla Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born in the former Transkei, South Africa. Because of her anti-apartheid activism, she was regularly detained by the South African government. She endured house arrest, torture and imprisonment in solitary confinement, and was banished to the town of Brandfort in 1977. Madikizela-Mandela was married to Nelson Mandela for thirty-eight years, twenty-seven of which he was imprisoned. In 1985, she won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her role in South Africa's liberation struggle. Madikizela-Mandela is a member of the South African Parliament and a member of the African National Congress' national executive committee.