Nelson Mandela once said: “I can’t help it if the ladies take note of me. I am not going to protest.” Madiba’s friendly smile and suave manner have charmed many a woman over the years. Even in old age, he captivated a bevy of beauties, including celebrities like Charlize Theron, Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.
The former president was married three times, but at least one woman was immune to his charms. Anti-apartheid activist Amina Cachalia turned down a wedding proposal from the great statesman in the mid-1990s, according to her son Ghaleb.
In her autobiography, Amina says after her husband Yusuf’s death in 1995, there were “romantic interludes” with Mandela. Ghaleb said his mother rejected Mandela because Yusuf was the love of her life.
In 1998, Madiba married his third wife, Graca Machel. Mandela also famously reduced a few ladies to tears upon meeting them.
In 2004, Charlize Theron received a heroine’s welcome from Madiba when she returned to South Africa after winning an Oscar for her role in the film Monster. When the two came face to face, Charlize shook Mandela’s hands, burst into tears and told him: “I love you so much.”
Supermodel Naomi Campbell once confessed she “always gets teary” when she talks about Madiba because he never judged her.