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Winnie Mandela 25 January 2010
Sophie Okonedo as Winnie Mandela
Sophie Okonedo on playing the complex wife of South Africa’s first black president

Sophie Okonedo is starring as Winnie Mandela in a one-off biopic on BBC4. The fact-based drama follows Mrs Mandela from the 1950s to 1990, when her husband was released from prison after 27 years. It charts her progress from country girl to politicised fighter against apartheid. How did a Brit like Sophie feel about playing South Africa’s most controversial character? How easy was it to get the right balance in portraying Winnie Mandela’s fight against apartheid, but also her convictions for kidnapping, fraud and theft? And how did she manage to act the part of a woman as she aged through three decades?

Mrs Mandela is on BBC4 on 25 January

Winnie Mandela
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