Zoleka Mandela, the grandchild of South African hero, Nelson Mandela, has been through hell and back in her 43 years of existence. For someone who battled drug addiction, cancer, and the death of two children, she perhaps, did not also deserve an unhappy marriage. Unfortunately, most times we don’t get what we deserve in life. Her once happy and perfect marriage with Thierry Bashala that we all thought will stand the test of time came crumbling in 2020, just when nobody saw it coming. However, being the strong woman she is, in the space of one year after her divorce, she has gotten back on her feet and is now a strong and proud mother to her children.
It Was Not Love At First Sight For For Zoleka Mandela And Thierry Bashala
With the way Zoleka Mandela and Thierry Bashala were in love, you would think that it was love at first sight for both parties on their first meeting, but that was not the case. While Thierry Bashala knew that Zoleka was the woman for him the very first day he met her, Zoleka did not feel the same way. In 2017, when they were still very much in love, she took to Instagram to share with fans how their love story began.
According to Zoleka, the very first day she met him, she felt offended and irritated by the way he kept following her around, pretending he was trying to sell jeans to her whereas, he actually wanted her number. After giving him the number, she decided to call him herself, with the intention of giving him a stern warning never to repeat such a thing. But things didn’t go as she planned and the young man was able to win her heart and convinced her to go for a second meeting.
On their next meeting, she was totally convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Thierry Bashala was the right man for her, and couldn’t help but wonder why she had to wait for him for so long.
They Were Married For Six Years
Zoleka Mandela and Thierry Bashala met in 2012 and after two years of courtship, they were both convinced that they loved and understood each other well enough to be husband and wife. And so, in 2014, they took their relationship to the next level by exchanging marriage vows.
Together, they were in what looked like a happy marriage for six years. In these years, their union was blessed with two beautiful girls – Zanyiwe who was born in 2014, and Zendile who was born in 2019. Zoleka Mandela refers to her two daughters as ‘miracle children because they were born after she thought she may never be able to have children again after her struggles with breast cancer and drug addiction.
Until the sad news of their divorce came out, you could never have known that their marriage was facing serious challenges. At regular intervals, Zoleka never failed to gush over her happy marriage on social media. They were so in love that they even went on to create their own customized face cap, and promoted the hashtag #MrAndMrsBashalala.
Zoleka Mandela Revealed How She Was Struggling With Staying Married To Thierry Bashala
With all the regular public show of affection and true love that Zoleka Mandela and Thierry Bashala showcased for each other, you could never suspect that separation would knock on their door and they would welcome it. However, after eight years of being together and six years of being married, Zoleka Mandela dropped a bombshell on Instagram in March 2020. While others were seeking lockdown partners, she was announcing her divorce.
She started by narrating how difficult it was for her at the time of breaking up with someone she has loved and been with for eight years. She explained that it took her two years to finally make the decision to leave her marriage. In her long Instagram epistle, Zoleka explained that her marriage was taking away her self-esteem, emotional and mental stability.
Additionally, she explained that being able to walk out of a relationship you have been in for so many years is a huge display of strength for her. In conclusion, she said this divorce gives her the chance to work harder on herself, forgive herself, accept her weaknesses, and celebrate her freedom.
Life After Divorce Has Been Focused On Keeping Fit And Taking Care Of Her Children
Aside from her children with ex-husband Thierry Bashala, Zoleka, who is actually a mother of five children has an older son called Zwelami who turned 18 in 2020, and two other children whom she sadly lost.
Her oldest daughter was killed in a road accident two days after her birthday in 2010 while returning from the World Cup Concert in Soweto. At the time of her daughter’s death, she was struggling with drug addiction and could not even attend the funeral because she had been hospitalized.
At the age of 32, Zoleka was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly after receiving treatment, she realized she was pregnant and was elated because she never thought it was going to be possible after cancer treatment. However, her joy was cut short when her baby who was born prematurely died a few days after his birth.
All of these have contributed to the reason why Zoleka is currently obsessed with keeping fit because the more weight she gains the more chances of cancer recurring. Currently, fitness is not the only thing she is enthusiastic about, she also can’t help but show off her deep love for her children who are still alive, and always tries to be the best mum to them.
The South African Writer Has Found Love Again
Considering all the reasons Zoleka gave for her divorce, you would think she had intentions of staying single for a while and giving herself some space for self-love, but that is not the case. After her divorce from her husband, Zoleka Mandela was fond of posting pictures of black and really sexy guys who she called chocolate yum, with captions of how much she needed one.
Barely one year after divorcing Bashala, Zoleka has found love in the arms of a man named, Andie Pandie, who matches the exact description of the kind of men she said she wanted.
On the 3rd of May 2021, she posted a picture of herself and her looking all loved up with Andie. In her caption, she said she couldn’t believe she once thought another man was all she wanted forever.