In a rare memoir, one of the granddaughters of the late Nelson Mandela, Ndileka Mandela says being a Mandela is no walk in the park as some would like to believe. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - In a rare memoir, one of the granddaughters of the late Nelson Mandela, Ndileka Mandela says being a Mandela is no walk in the park as some would like to believe.  

In the memoir titled “I Am Ndileka More than my surname By Ndileka Mandela”, the granddaughter of the Struggle icon says the family experienced challenges like everybody else. 

“I want to confront some of my ghosts through this book and finally lay them to rest. Contrary to popular belief, people think being from this family is a walk in the park and that we perhaps do not go through the same challenges as everyone else. My life has been a labyrinth of highs and lows and I’m still standing. I thank God for that and my ancestors for all their intercessions. I am the sum of all the decisions I have made so far, good and bad. I am Ndileka Mandela, the first of the first of the first, and this is my story,” she said in a press statement released by Jacana Media, the publishers of the book.

In the memoir, which is set to be publicly launched on November 6 this year in Johannesburg, she also deals with death in her family, patriarchy, motherhood, depression, being homeless and surviving rape and abuse but said nothing about the Mandela family feud that engulfed the family before and after Nelson Mandela’s death in 2013. 

She also spoke about life of women in post-apartheid South Africa. 

“Even though South Africa has been emancipated from the apartheid regime and so-called gender inequality structures have been removed, women still face oppression and abuse,” she said. 

In October 2017, as part of the #MeToo campaign to denounce sexual violence, Ndileka disclosed for the first time that she had been raped by her then partner in her own bed.

According to the publishers, Ndileka Mandela is a social activist, former ICU nurse and the head of a rural upliftment organisation known as the Thembekile Mandela Foundation. She was born to Madiba Thembekile Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s first born), who died in a car accident while his father was in prison, and the eldest grandchild of Nelson Mandela.

Political Bureau