Ndileka Mandela, the first grandchild of Nelson Mandela, tells Nicolene de Wee about her passion for rural development and that Covid-19 corruption and state capture evidence means she won’t make her X next to the ANC. The mother of two is a nurse, social activist and author. She heads the rural upliftment organisation, the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, which she named after her father, the oldest son of Mandela and his first wife, Evelyn Mase.
Where did your passion for nursing come from and did anyone influence that decision?
My grandmother was a nurse in Pimville in Johannesburg. On weekends, when she was working as a community nurse, she took me to assist her with weighing the babies at the clinic. So I suppose that stuck. However, when I finished matric, I was training as a teacher, but I hated every moment. I also fell pregnant that same year and decided not to go back to teacher’s college after the June holidays. My grandmother managed to get me a nursing apprenticeship and I fell in love with nursing. I guess that passion for nursing my grandmother instilled in me was reignited.