The script is based on the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography Winnie Mandela:A Life. While Nelson Mandela is a universally sympathetic figure for his struggle against apartheid, his former wife has been a complicated figure. She has been depicted as the mother and wife who was a steadfast supporter of her activist husband and who was jailed herself for campaigning for his release and fighting against apartheid.
Her image was subsequently tarnished by association with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer, and she was later convicted of fraud. “I was compelled and moved when I read the script," Variety magazine quoted Hudson as saying. “Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I"m honoured to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told," she added.