Zoleka Mandela was a South African writer, activist and public figure.
She was born on July 9, 1980, in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the granddaughter of the late Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary.
Zoleka is known for her advocacy work in various areas, including road safety, breast cancer awareness and addiction recovery.
She has been open about her own struggles with addiction and has used her platform to raise awareness about the issue and to encourage others to seek help.
In addition to her advocacy work, Zoleka is also a published author.
She has written several books, including a memoir titled, When Hope Whispers, and a children’s book titled, Grandad Mandela.
Zoleka Mandela’s death
Zoleka died of cancer at the age of 43 on September 25, 2023.
Her life was full of tragedy, including sexual abuse as a child, drug and alcohol addiction from her teenage years, and the loss of her 13-year-old daughter in a car crash in 2010.
Despite these challenges, she was a tireless activist for healthcare and justice, raising awareness about cancer prevention and breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease.
She set up foundations to help people in both spheres.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which promotes the legacy of the South African statesman who died in 2013, mourned Zoleka’s death and offered its condolences to her family.
It said she was a “beloved grandchild” to Nelson Mandela and praised her work raising awareness of cancer and her role as an inspiration to those affected by the disease and to those who had lost children.
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 cause of death
Zoleka died of cancer at the age of 43.
She was admitted to the hospital on September 18th for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer to the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.
Recent scans revealed significant disease progression, including fibrosis in the lungs as well as several emboli.
Zoleka passed away on the evening of September 25th, surrounded by her family and friends.
She had been diagnosed with breast cancer barely a year after her daughter’s death, leading to a double mastectomy and grueling chemotherapy.
Who are Zoleka Mandela’s parents?
Zoleka’s parents are Zindzi Mandela and her first husband Zwelibanzi Hlongwane.
Zindzi was a South African activist, diplomat, and writer who was born on December 23, 1960, in Soweto, South Africa.
She was the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela and his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was also a prominent anti-apartheid activist.
Zindzi grew up in the midst of the struggle against apartheid, which was a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.
She was only 18 months old when her father was imprisoned for his activism, and she spent much of her childhood without him.
Despite the challenges she faced, Zindzi became an outspoken advocate for social justice and human rights.
She was actively involved in the struggle against apartheid and was a member of the African National Congress (ANC), the political party that played a key role in ending apartheid and bringing democracy to South Africa.
After the end of apartheid, Zindzi continued to work for social justice and human rights.
She served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark from 2015 until her death in July 2020.
She was also a writer and published several books, including a memoir about her childhood called Black as I Am.
Zindzi was a courageous and inspiring figure who dedicated her life to fighting for a better future for all South Africans.
Her legacy continues to inspire people around the world to work for social justice and human rights.
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.
Mandela’s life was full of tragedy, including the loss of two of her children in separate car accidents.
Despite these challenges, she remained committed to making a positive impact in the world.
Her legacy as an activist and advocate for healthcare and justice will continue to inspire others for years to come.