Nelson Mandela's granddaughters in TV reality show


Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a member of Nelson Mandela’s family? Well, if you tune into US broadcaster NBC’s latest reality TV show your curiosity may be satisfied.

Being Mandela, a show that follows the daily lives of two of Mr Mandela’s granddaughters in Johannesburg, will be aired for the first time on the NBC-owned COZI TV to US audiences tomorrow evening.

During the 13-episode series, which has already been filmed, audiences will get to follow Swati Dlamini and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway as they try to promote the Mandela family legacy in between carrying out their parenting duties.

In interviews during the week, the daughters of Zenani Mandela and Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini of Swaziland said they had the blessing of their famous grandfather to participate in the show. But could their participation do the Mandela family name more harm than good?

“We get asked this question a lot . . . ” Dlamini told an interviewer in New York, “but our grandparents have always said to us, this is our name too, and we can do what we think is best fitting with the name, as long as we treat it with respect and integrity.”

Winnie Mandela

While the 94-year-old former South African president does not make an appearance, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela does throughout the series.

Mr Mandela recently had gallbladder surgery in addition to being treated for a lung infection. But his granddaughters tried to ease public concerns, saying he is “happy and healthy” at present. They then produced a photograph of the Nobel Peace Prize winner taken last month to prove it.

According to the show’s producers, when the sisters are not ferrying their kids to school, they can be seen making an emotional visit to the prison on Robben Island where their grandfather was imprisoned for nearly two decades by the white government of the day. Swati Dlamini can also be seen working on publishing the prison diaries that her grandmother wrote, but can no longer bear to read.