Introducing Mandla Mandela: The Man Behind The Name

Not surprisingly, Mandla Mandela has made a name for himself in South Africa’s political arena. In fact, it was to be expected. If his name sounds familiar, that’s probably because he is Nelson Mandela’s grandson.

Born in 1974, the Rhodes University graduate is the current chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council. He became chief in 2007 when the tribe discussed choosing a member from the Mandela family. Initially, the tribe had intended for Nelson Mandela to reclaim his leadership but Nelson Mandela had given up his right to rule the tribe in order to combat the white rule in South Africa. When the clan turned to Nelson Mandela to reclaim his position as head of the clan, he suggested that Mandla assume the role.

Mandla Mandela was only 32 years when he assumed the role as Chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council. Most of his duties are traditional, as expected. He is not only required to represent the tribe on political matters but to also settle quarrels among members of the tribe.

In 2009, Mandla became an African National Congress (ANC) member of parliament.

Introducing Mandla Mandela

mandla Mandela 2

Fun Fact: Mandla, whose birth name is Zwelivelile, initially wanted to become a DJ. However, his grandfather never vetoed the idea saying “No Mandela will ever become [a DJ], you need to go out and find a career” after asking what a DJ is.

Mandla, who is Nelson Mandela’s eldest heir, credits his grandfather for being the driving force behind him being the person he is today. Mandla first gained nationwide and international attention in 2007 when he became chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council. Since then, both his political resolutions and personal life have attracted media attention.

The attention he garnered is perfectly understandable as everyone simply wanted to know the man the legendary Nelson Mandela chose to be his heir. Was he going to be controversial or subdued? Was he going to live up to expectations? Was he going to impress or disappoint? While so many questions were asked, it was to be expected – after all, the Mandela name is easily one of the most relevant names in South Africa.

Read Also: 10 Fast Facts You Didn’t Know About Bonang Mohale

Wives And Marriages

mandla mandela wife 2

Mandla Mandela got married for the first time in a civil ceremony in June 2004. However, the wife – Tando Mabuna Mandela – later filed for divorce, claiming Mandla is infertile.

READ
Top 10 Dating Tips That Will Guarantee A Fun Time For South African Men

He got married again in 2010, this time in a traditional ceremony. His second wife was a French citizen – Anaïs Grimaud. In September 2011, Anaïs gave birth to Qheya II Zanethemba Mandela. The baby was presented to Nelson Mandela, his great-grandfather, at his naming ceremony. Unfortunately, Mandla denied being the father of the child in August 2012. He claimed the child was a result of the affair Anaïs had with his brother.

You may have heard the phrase, ‘the third time is the charm’ – but that was not the case for Mandla. Mandla Mandela married Swazi princess – Nodivala Mbali Makhathinni on the 24th of December. You may have guessed it…but yes, he filed for divorce.

On the 6th of February 2016, Mandla married Raabia Clarke in Cape Town in an Islamic ceremony. Maybe this fourth time is the charm. Fingers crossed.

Controversy Around Fourth Marriage & Conversion To Islam

Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla mandela on the red carpet outside parliament during the 2013 SONA

Mandla Mandela converted to Islam two months ahead of his fourth wedding. This decision was met with great controversy.

“I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Rabia’s parents, her extended family and the Muslim community, for welcoming me into their hearts,” Mandela said on the issue of his conversion.

However, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane – a representative of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa – was quoted to have said:

“We reacted with shock on the news of his conversion. We were also very concerned. What we know is that the woman converts, not the man. That is our custom.”

He indicated that the entire Congress of the Traditional Leaders were disturbed by this development. They were especially worried because no traditional leader was present at the wedding ceremony. Furthermore, no member of the Traditional Council of Mvezo was present. This was considered especially unusual because Mandla Mandela is the traditional leader of the Mvezo tribe. The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa also believed that the decision to convert would affect the loyalty expected from his subjects, especially if the traditional rites were in conflict with his new religion.

Read Also: 5 Reasons Why Mandela Was Never A Christian Or Was He?

Many would say Mandla’s political ascension is only because of his famous grandfather’s name. However, Mandla has worked hard to build a name for himself – not to step out of his grandfather’s shadow but to not be defined by it.

Was this article helpful?
Eddy Valerii
Eddy Valerii
Eddy is known to look a challenge dead in the eye and wink at it. A storyteller, movie enthusiast, and TV nerd who can always be found on Netflix. she's always up to argue about comic book movies. Getting to write and edit for a living is definitely the dream and it is always exciting to be afforded the opportunity to learn new things every day.
data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="4" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">

Recommended

Analyzing Cindy Mahlangu’s Role as a Siyanda From The Queen and Her Romance With Bongani Zungu

Cindy Mahlangu is a South African actress and model who is currently blazing the trails in the entertainment scene. Recently, she was one of...

Why Evodia Mogase Divorced Her First Husband and How Old She Is Now

Evodia Mogase has built an interesting Persona on The Real Housewives of Johannesburg. She is an iron lady who says what she feels like...

Mary Twala – Revisiting Somizi’s Mother’s Life of Successes and Legacies

Mary Twala was a South African actress whose life was a testament to duty, humility, and honor. A thespian per excellence, she left an...

How Evodia Mogase Built Her Net Worth and Affords a Luxurious House

Evodia Mogase has come a very long way having had to build her fortune independently after her divorce from her first husband. Although she...

Exploring Kealeboga Masango’s Rise To Fame on Rhythm City and Her Family Background

Kealeboga Masango has been under the spotlight since she snagged her breakout role in the popular South African musical drama series, Rhythm City. She...

Featured Today

READ
5 Indispensable Tips On How To Turn A Guy On

How Quinton Jones’ Met, Married and Started a Family With Minnie Dlamini

Quinton Jones' marriage to South Africa's sweetheart, Minnie Dlamini was one of the biggest events of 2017. The news also broke so many hearts...

An Interesting List of Nandi Mbatha’s Boyfriends – Past and Present

Nandi Mbatha apparently loves the feeling of love and being treated to dates. Since the actress stepped onto the scene, she has dated a...

How Did Themba Ntuli Become So Famous and What Car Does He Drive?

Lovers of entertainment in South Africa would know the popular filmmaker, actor, and comedian, Themba Ntuli. Perhaps, one reason he has gained so much...

A Deeper Look at Quinton Jones’ Net Worth and How He Acquired His Wealth

Quinton Jones is one of the most mysterious South African celebrities. He has managed to keep his personal life very much private through the...

Analyzing Litlhonolofatso Litlhakanyane’s Role as Tebello on Scandal and Becoming A Famous Child Actor

Litlhonolofatso Litlhakanyane has been a mainstay of the e.tv soapie Scandal! ever since he broke out onto the scene of the popular South African...
Was this article helpful?

Related Stories