The invaluable life lessons that social justice activist Ndaba Mandela learned from his beloved and iconic grandfather, Nelson Mandela, are ingrained in him forever.
Mandela is keeping his grandfather’s legacy alive by introducing him to a new generation. He wrote about their strong bond in his 2018 biography, “Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela.” The book illustrates the important moral lessons he learned from his grandfather about freedom, forgiveness, leadership, education, self-discipline, respecting oneself and others and peace.
Ndaba Mandela will discuss social justice and experiences he shared with his grandfather, who raised him while his parents were in college, on Tuesday at 6 p.m., at Stetson University as part of Stetson’s Many Voices, One Stetson initiative. The lecture will be held in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room (second floor), 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand. The event is free and open to the public.
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, philanthropist and the first black and democratically elected president of South Africa (1994-1999). He also was the African National Congress’ leader who was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government in order to end apartheid. His conviction led to him being sentenced to life in prison in 1963. After serving 27 years in prison, he was released in 1990, which prompted negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa and bring peace to a racially divided country.
“Ndaba Mandela will be talking about the Mandela legacy, what international activism looks like and emphasizing the importance of actively getting involved in the community,” said Savannah-Jane Griffin, executive director of Community Engagement and Inclusive Excellence.
Mandela, a professional speaker, is following in his grandfather’s footsteps by advocating for his nation as the co-founder and co-chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to publicizing Africa’s positive global image, expanding the country’s advancement and development in education and careers and creating partnerships with international businesses.
“I carry with me the values of my grandfather,” said Mandela in his official biography. “I am an African, and I know what it means to be African, and I’m proud of it. Together as one we can accomplish anything.”
He continues to carry the torch for his parents who lost their battle with AIDS by serving as the executive director of UNAIDS, a nongovernmental institution with a mission to end the stigma of AIDS by using soccer in its prevention messages.
“Ndaba Mandela is an internationally known activist for social justice,” said Joanne Harris-Duff, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Stetson. “He promotes Stetson’s commitment to inclusion and equality and will be incredibly inspirational.” Mandela’s influential presentation is timely during times of unrest throughout the world.
“Ndaba Mandela’s attendance and presentation on campus is important because it is an example for students on how love can overcome challenges that individuals may face,” said Katie Hope Scott, Multicultural Student Council chair. “Ndaba Mandela has taken a lot of his grandfather’s teachings and applied them to his life and the initiatives that he has started, such as, the Africa Rising Foundation. Students will have an opportunity to listen to his stories and then ask questions to learn how they can turn a passion into a career. It is important to remember that even when you are surrounded by hatred, you can always make a positive difference, just as the Mandela family has continuously done throughout generations.”