Nelson Mandela

Birth Name: Rolihlahla Mandela

Date of Birth: 18 July, 1918

Place of Birth: Mvezo, Cape Province, Union of South Africa

Date of Death: 5 December, 2013

Place of Death: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Ethnicity: Thembu [Xhosa] South African

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist. He negotiated efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. He served as the 1st President of South Africa, from 10 May, 1994 to 14 June, 1999. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993, with F. W. de Klerk.

“The Peacemakers” won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1993. Nelson was one of four persons chosen to represent that title, along with Yasser Arafat, F. W. de Klerk, and Yitzhak Rabin.

His great-grandfather was the ruler of the Thembu people in the Transkeian Territories of South Africa’s modern Eastern Cape province. The Thembu are a Xhosa speaking tribe. His name, Mandela, was the name of his grandfather, and his name, Nelson, was given to him by his teacher at the age of seven.

President Mandela was the son of Nosekeni Nonqaphi Fanny and Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela. He was married to politician and humanitarian Graça Machel, until his death. He had four children with his former wife, nurse and activist Evelyn Ntoko Mase; and two children with his former wife, activist and politician Winnie Madikizela.

President Mandela’s paternal grandfather was Mandela, Left Hand House Son, Chief of Mveso (the son of Ngubengcuka Vusani aNdaba, King of the abaThembu).

President Mandela’s maternal grandfather was Nkedama from the amaMpemvu clan of the Xhosa.

Source: Genealogy of Nelson Mandela –


Curious about ethnicity

2 Responses

  1. JoFacto says:

    “CORRECTION’ Xhosa

  2. notional says:

    He looks khoisan

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