- Ndaba was shocked at the accusations against his grandfather and took to the media to set them straight
- He reminds us of the many struggles that his grandfather fought for us to live the life we live today
- Ndaba stands by his grandfather's legacy and says that calling him a 'sell-out' is just disrespectful
The accusations against the former president, Nelson Mandela, for been a sell-out, is absolute nonsense. This is according to Ndaba Mandela that has come out fighting for his grandfather’s legacy.
“Nelson Mandela was not a sell-out. People mustn’t talk without going into the history and understanding that‚ actually‚ Nelson Mandela is the first person to actually carry out attacks against white people. I’m talking about proper military tactics [targeting] white apartheid infrastructure. He was the first person to militarise and create the armed wing of the ANC‚” he said.
“So how dare you come and tell me that Nelson Mandela is a sell-out when he was the first black person to have the balls to go and bomb the apartheid system?”
Ndaba has written his first book entitled “Going to the Mountain: Lessons from my Grandfather, Nelson Mandela. Ndaba is so committed to the label that has been placed on his grandfather as total garbage, that he did not give it a second thought when he was writing the book.
Ndaba shared his feelings and disappointment with TimesLIVE. He said when his grandfather came to power after the 1994 election, Madiba faced massive challenges. But it was utterly wrong and distasteful to consider these decisions as, selling out!
“When he came out of prison and took power in 1994‚ the amount of looting the apartheid people were doing [meant] this government was bankrupt. There was no money to run the country. Certain compromises had to be done in order for this country to run‚ for the ANC‚ the organisation‚ to run this country. Briefly.co.za learnt that under the adversity‚ under the challenges that they were facing at the time‚ they had to make certain decisions.
“Yes‚ it may look like it was a sell-out‚ but it was nowhere near him selling out.
“But if those people understood exactly that position Nelson Mandela was in‚ and ask them what they would have done differently ... trust me‚ they wouldn’t have many answers to come at you‚” he said.
Ndaba is extremely protective of “The Old Man” as he is affectionately called. This is very prevalent in Ndaba’s book where he explores his and his grandfather’s relationship.
Ndaba moved into Mandela’s Houghton home at the age of 11, and the book describes a deeply personal account of Ndaba’s adolescence with Mandela towering over him.
The story describes the close bond Ndaba and Madiba shared. Neither one is portrayed as a saint but how Ndaba cherished the relationship with his grandfather.
“His voice still rumbles through my bones‚ bumping into the old stories. It has settled into the marrow‚ like sediment in a river. As I get older‚ I hear his voice coming from my own throat. Everyone tells me I sound like him‚ and knowing that I do makes me weigh my words a little more carefully‚ particularly in a public setting‚” he writes.
When asked to summarise the lessons he had learnt from his grandfather, Ndaba replied that there are six key lessons.
“One of the most important lessons from my grandfather was to be humble. Humility is very important‚ especially if one wants to be a leader and be seen as a leader and to be respected as a leader in their community. Because‚ as a leader‚ you are not there for yourself but you are there to represent those who cannot represent themselves – the poor people‚ the marginalised‚ and so on. You must understand that you are actually a servant‚” he said.
Even though discipline was a huge lesson, in the book Ndaba admits that during his teenage years this did cause some friction between his grandfather and him.
Integrity was another lesson as well as respect and the value of public service.
Above all, given the lofty goals of Ndaba’s foundation, Africa Rising, the developing and nurturing of young Africans was the biggest lesson he learnt from his grandfather!
“It’s important in a world where we are lacking mentors. Lessons from a grandfather are important. We can all relate to a grandfather‚ or a grandfather-like figure in our lives‚” said Ndaba.
Visit our YouTube channel at Briefly - South Africa YouTube channel.
Do you have a story to share with us? Inbox us on our Facebook page and we could feature your story.