A Blessing or a Curse?

South Africa: What it’s really like to be a Mandela

By Romain Chanson, in Johannesburg

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Posted on December 3, 2021 10:48

Eight years after former South African president Nelson Mandela’s death, some of his family are cashing in on his freedom hero status, while others are keeping his memory alive – or fighting over his estate.

‘Buy any case of House of Mandela wines and stand a chance of winning a Nelson Mandela’s Struggle series unsigned print’. This is the promotional message that pops up on the website of the House of Mandela (HOM) lifestyle brand.

With its high-end offering of wines, art, jewellery, books and clothing, the business venture doesn’t seem to take inspiration from the late anti-apartheid activist’s purportedly humble disposition. The brand is marketing papers over reality, selling customers a gold-embossed version of Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba – his clan name.

“Our business isn’t about the man himself – it’s about the history behind the House of Mandela,” Tukwini Mandela says, defensively. Madiba’s 47-year-old granddaughter founded the HOM brand alongside her mother, Makaziwe Mandela, in 2010. The pair of descendants of Evelyn Mase, Mandela’s first wife, have said they want to pay

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