Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson has been tapped to play Winnie Mandela, the former wife of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, in the upcoming film Winnie.

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The film is based on the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography Winnie Mandela: A Life, according to Variety. Production is scheduled to begin May 30 in the South African locations of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Transkei and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela served 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment.

Winnie Mandela was also jailed while campaigning for her husband's release and fighting against apartheid. Her image was tarnished by an association with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer in 1989. She was also convicted of fraud in 2003.

"I was compelled and moved when I read the script," Hudson said. "Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I'm honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."

Hudson, 28, also a Grammy-award winning singer, won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her screen debut in Dreamgirls and has since starred in The Secret Life of Bees and the film adaptation of Sex in the City.