Author & Founder of Thembekile Mandela Foundation
In honour of Mandela Month, we connect with Madiba’s eldest grandchild Ndileka Mandela as she shines a light on his legacy.
Ndileka is the first born of Madiba “Thembi” Thembekile Mandela, who passed on in a car accident while Mandela was still in prison. Throughout her life, Ndileka has stood strong in her beliefs. In 2017, she was the first member of her family to reject her grandfather’s party, African National Congress.
Today, Ndileka is a social activist, that has stood for numerous social issues, including the 2017 #MeToo campaign that denounces sexual violence. She is currently the head of a rural upliftment organisation the Thembekile Mandela Foundation.
She founded the Thembekile Mandela Foundation (TMF) in 2012, in honour of her father. The foundation aims to continue the legacy of Nelson Mandela by promoting Health and Education Programmes in selected rural schools.
The goal of the foundation is to assist young people with skills, create jobs and alleviate poverty in communities across South Africa.
In addition to running the foundation, Ndileka has authored her own book - “I Am Ndileka: More than my surname”. The book tells the story of a woman who has made great stride in society, but still faces many challenges. It follows Ndileka’s journey as she deals with death in her family, patriarchy, motherhood, depression, being homeless and surviving rape and abuse.