Zindziswa Mandela fondly known as Zindzi was born on 23 December, 1960 in Soweto to the family of the famous freedom fighter, and first black president of South Africa; Nelson Mandela and his second wife Winnie Mandela who was also an activist. She was indeed a chip off the old block, as she had the traits of activism running deep down her veins. She was a politician and a diplomat; South Africa's Ambassador to Denmark.
The amiable and charismatic scion of the Nelson Mandela dynasty, didn't have it all rosy while growing up. She barely knew her famous father as a child, because he was sent to the prison when she was just 18 months old. Her mum also had her own fair share of the mistreatment which was meted out to the Blacks during the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
Ist Photo: Zindzi As a Baby With Her Parents
2nd Photo: Zindzi Welcoming Her Father On His Release From the Prison
Zindzi Mandela With Her Mum Winnie Mandela
Thus, the prevailing circumstances of her stormy childhood and adulthood, helped in rekindling the embers of activism inherent in her. However, her tempestuous ordeal also affected her personal life in some subtle ways. It was a sweet-bitter pill for the young Zindzi, when she was faced with the fate of burying the father of her child, just twelve days to her father's release from prison. Clayton Sizwe Sithole was a member of the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). The 20 years old boyfriend and father of Zindzi's child, was taken in to prison custody and was found hanged in a prison cell, about four days later.
Zindziswa was educated in South Africa and Eswatini (previously known as Swaziland). She obtained her law degree in 1985, from the University of Capetown. She also explored the world of poetry. Her works were featured in : "Black As I Am", "Somehow We Survive": An Anthology of South African Writing and "Daughters of Africa".
One of the milestones of her life, was when she tied the nuptial knot with Zwelibanzi Hlongwane; a business man in October, 1992. It was a high powered wedding which however developed some frictions which led to a divorce. Nothwithstanding her initial challenges, the sociable lady, gave a second shot at marriage. She got married to Molapo Motlhajwa; a member of the South African National Defence Force, in March, 2013. Zindzi Mandela played a pivotal role during her father's tenure, when she served as a stand-in First Lady of South Africa until her father's remarriage in 1998.
Zindzi With Her Second Husband Molapo Motlhajwa
She was blessed with four children; Zoleka Mandela (1980), Zondwa Mandela (1985), Bambatha Mandela (1989) and Zwelabo Hlongwane Mandela (1992). An intriguing narrative about her children, is the fact that they bear the surename of their paternal grandfather Nelson Mandela. Her first child Zoleka Mandela is also an activist in her own right. She is apparently one of the most vocal of her siblings. The two-time cancer survivor is an epitome of courage and resilience. Zoleka was just 32 years of age, when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. That was just few months after burying her son and a year before her daughter passed away.
Zoleka Mandela is the Founder and Chairman of Zoleka Mandela Foundation, activist at Save Kids Lives Campaign as well as an Ambassador at Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility. She is involved in lots of other awareness campaigns. Once hooked to strings of addictions, including drugs, she uses her story to inspire people who are struggling with addictions. She is the author of "When Hope Whispers", a book which chronicles her experiences; travails and triumphs in life.
Zoleka With Her Grandma Winnie Mandela
Zoleka Mandela's Daughters and Son
Zondwa Mandela the second child of the late Zindzi Mandela is a business man with interest in the minning sector. While Bambatha who announced the death of their mother on his Instagram page is a hip-hop artist. He was just a baby when his grandfather was released from prison. Zwelabo happens to be the last of Zindzi's children.
Zondwa Mandela With His Mum Zindzi Mandela
Bambatha Mandela With His Mum Zindzi Mandela
Bambatha Mandela - A Hip-hop Artist
Zwelabo Hlongwane Mandela With His Mum Zindzi Mandela
Zwelabo in a Jolly mood
The heroine who was reported to have passed away Monday morning, at a hospital in Johannesburg, was very vocal and fearless. She died at the age of 59, and is survived by her husband Molapo Motlhajwa, four children and grandchildren.
What a beautiful family!
May her gentle soul rest in peace!
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