Nelson Mandela is a heroic and iconic figure, a symbol of spiritual strength, forgiveness and leadership to the entire world. Now the next generation of Mandelas are finding their place in the world. Mandela’s granddaughters Zaziwe Diamini Manaway, 35, and Swati Diamini, 33, are the stars of the new reality show “Being Mandela,” a 13-episode show airing on COZI TV starting on February 10 at 9 p.m. The sisters are the daughters of Nelson and Winnie’s daughter Zenani Mandela and Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini, a Prince of Swaziland. Although the family lived in exile in the U.S. while their grandfather was in jail, they returned to their homeland of South Africa as teenagers and currently live in Johannesburg. They say that although they respect their grandfather’s history, they didn’t check in with him before agreeing to do the show.
“No, we didn’t have to ask him. I mean, our grandfather is 95. So we don’t actually go and ask him things like this,” Zaziwe told thegriot.com. “But the Mandela name is our name as well. So he entrusts us to do well by the name, to respect the name, to treat it with integrity and to produce something that he can be proud of. So we just know that he supports us in everything that we do and we take pride in our name, so we would never do anything to tarnish the name in any way.”
The show covers their lives now and their connection to their family legacy. During “Being Mandela,” the sisters visit the notorious Robben Island prison near Cape Town where their grandfather was held for 18 years. Despite his age, the sisters say that their grandfather is in the best health that could be expected and that he enjoys it when the family visits. As they are actual princesses, the show also follows them during a visit to their father’s country. Both are mothers – Zaziwe is married to an American – and started a clothing line,Long Walk to Freedom,with their two brothers.
“This show is about us and our lives — both as individuals and as members of the Mandela family,” the sisters said in a joint statement. “It offers a window on how we far we have come to re-establish our lives. We are excited to share the story of our lives, and hopefully viewers will be able to appreciate how universal the human story is.”