Zoleka Mandela was a South African writer and activist better known as Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter.
She was born on April 9, 1980, and her parents are MJ Seakamela and Zindzi Mandela.
Her mother’s family, the Mandelas, are direct descendants of King Madiba of the Thembu people and serve as chieftains of Mvezo, their ancestral chiefdom.
Zoleka has written about her addictions, her daughter’s death, and her own battles with breast cancer.
She has spoken about sexual abuse in her childhood and was also addicted to drugs and alcohol for a time.
In 2010, Zoleka’s 13-year-old daughter, Zenani, was killed in a car crash on the way home from a concert, per Wikipedia.
The accident was said to be due to drugs and, at the time, Zoleka was reportedly recovering from a suicide attempt.
Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has passed away 🕊 pic.twitter.com/VXdSlB3Fem
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) September 26, 2023
Zoleka Mandela’s children
Zoleka’s life was full of tragedy, including addiction, a suicide attempt, and the loss of two young children.
Despite these challenges, she embraced her grandfather’s legacy and worked tirelessly to raise awareness of cancer and break down the stigma surrounding the disease.
Zoleka’s family includes her parents, MJ Seakamela and Zindzi Mandela, and her grandparents, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
She was the mother of four children, two of whom passed away tragically.
Her 13-year-old daughter, Zenani, was killed in a car crash in 2010 on the way back from a concert that marked the opening of the soccer World Cup in South Africa.
It was caused by a drunk driver and came when Zoleka, herself, was deep in her addiction.
She was a tireless activist for healthcare and justice, and even set up foundations to help people affected by cancer and addiction.
Zoleka also spoke openly about her own struggles with addiction and breast cancer.
Her work in raising awareness about cancer prevention and breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease will continue to inspire many people.
Zoleka’s death was mourned by her family, friends, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which promotes the legacy of the South African statesman who died in 2013.
The foundation described her as a “beloved grandchild” of Nelson Mandela and an inspiration to those affected by cancer and to those who had lost children.
Zoleka Mandela parents
Zoleka’s parents are Zindzi Mandela and her first husband Zwelibanzi Hlongwane.
She was a South African diplomat, politician, activist and poet.
Zindzi was born on December 23, 1960, in Soweto, South Africa, to Nelson and Winnie Mandela.
Her parents were both anti-apartheid activists, and her father was imprisoned when she was 18 months old.
During her youth, she was often left in the care of her older sister Zenani Mandela when her mother was imprisoned for months at a time.
Zindzi was an active member of the African National Congress (ANC) and was involved in the anti-apartheid movement.
She was also an ambassador to Denmark from 2015 until her death in 2020.
In 1985, Zindzi read a speech on behalf of her father rejecting the South African government’s offer to release him from prison on the condition that he renounce violence.
She was also known for her poetry, which often dealt with themes of love, loss and the struggle against apartheid.
Zindzi died on July 13, 2020, at the age of 59.
Her death was announced by Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, who did not provide a cause of death.
At the time of her death, she was awaiting her next posting to Liberia.
Zoleka Mandela career
Zoleka was a noted author and activist who was described by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as “a tireless activist for healthcare and justice”.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and became an advocate for cancer awareness and prevention.
Zoleka shared her personal story and encouraged others to get screened for cancer.
She was a vocal advocate for healthcare and justice issues in South Africa, and spoke out against gender-based violence and advocated for better access to healthcare for all South Africans.
Zoleka was an inspiration to many people, both in South Africa and around the world.
She used her platform to encourage others to get involved in activism and to make a difference in their communities.