Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela has responded to Meghan Markle’s recent comments to The Cut.
Meghan said in the piece, that was titled “Meghan of Montecito”, that an actor from South Africa pulled her aside at the 2019 “Lion King” premiere to say: “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.”
The Cut article added, “Of course, she knows she’s no Mandela, but perhaps even telling me this story is a mode of defence, because if you are a symbol for all that is good and charitable, how can anybody find you objectionable, how can anybody hate you?”
Mandla said of his grandfather being released after serving 27 years in prison, “Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So it cannot be equated to as the same,” the Mail Online reported.
He continued, “Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him.
“But before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed.”
He told the paper that the anti-apartheid activist’s release was a much more serious reason to celebrate than her being married “to a white prince.”
Mandla, a member of the National Assembly of South Africa, went on, “We are still bearing scars of the past. But they were (Mr Mandela’s celebrations) a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time.”
Harry and Meghan have met members of the Mandela family multiple times in recent years, just as Prince Charles and Princess Diana did.
Harry delivered a powerful speech at the UN General Assembly for Nelson Mandela Day in New York City on July 18, after he and Meghan met Graça Machel, Mandela’s widow, on the last day of their tour of Africa in 2019, among other family meetings.