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Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Speaks at All-School Meeting

Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Speaks at All-School Meeting

Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Speaks at All-School Meeting


Ndaba Mandela is the founder of the Mandela Institute for Humanity and co-founder of the Mandela Leadership Program.

Staff Writer

December 7, 2023

Ethan Choi '26

On Tuesday, November 28, the school honored the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death by welcoming speaker Mr. Ndaba Mandela. 

Mr. Ndaba Mandela is an author, activist, and the grandson of the first president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. 

As part of his work to continue his grandfather’s legacy, Mr. Ndaba Mandela co-founded the Africa Rising Foundation and created the Mandela Institute for Humanity. The institute seeks to build a new generation of leaders, eradicate HIV/AIDS, and unite the African diaspora. 

Mr. Ndaba Mandela’s visit was made possible with the help of Helena Inzerillo ’25 and the DEI council. Inzerillo said, “With the 10th anniversary of my godfather Nelson Mandela’s death, I thought it would be great to bring someone like Ndaba Mandela to speak to the school and continue my godfather’s legacy.” 

Mr. Mandela shared personal anecdotes of life with his grandfather and advice on leadership. He honored Nelson Mandela’s courage in telling the world that his son (Ndaba Mandela’s father) died of AIDS at a time when HIV/AIDS was rarely publically acknowledged in Africa. He also praised his grandfather’s resilience during his 27-year incarceration for his activities resisting apartheid in South Africa. 

Mr. Mandela concluded his address to the community with insights on leadership. He said, “Being a leader means going through challenges. These challenges can only be overcome by listening and working with the community. Leadership is about giving a voice to those who are not able to give themselves one.” 

Dr. Lisanne Norman ’94, associate director of the DEI Council said, “I hope the students were inspired by Mr. Mandela as he spread the message of how everyone is capable of bringing change.” 

Next year, the Mandela Institute for Humanity plans to launch The Mandela Leadership Program in collaboration with Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, who spoke at Hotchkiss last year, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King. 

The leadership program will bring 16 young leaders, primarily from the African diaspora, to South Africa. Individuals ranging from 24 to 35 years of age will learn the values and principles exemplified by Nelson Mandela. The group will engage in online learning and travel across South Africa to visit important places from Nelson Mandela’s life. 

Students were able to ask questions after the addres and interact with Mr. Mandela during the subsequent lunch period. Chiwo Mupita ’27 said, “As a South African, I was able to relate to Mr. Mandela. He has inspired me to take the opportunities that are presented to me. I want to use the privilege I have to uplift my community."

Ethan Choi is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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