Maki Mandela as she is known is one of the seven children of former South African president Nelson Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase. Maki was born in 1953, becoming Mandela’s eldest daughter.
Evelyn and Nelson Mandela were married 4o something ago. They had four children, but only Maki and her older brother Makhato, who is studying law in South Africa, survive. She was named after after her older sister, born in 1947. Sadly she died in 1948, aged just nine months.
She studied high school at Waterford Kamhlaba and then went off to University of South Hare in South Africa.
The now 60-year-old was the head of the Industrial Development Group but before that she held important positions during her career at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. She received as Ph. D. Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. And has received several professional acknowledgements.
Unlike her younger sisters she is not a firm supporter of the African National Congress and she is not a spokeswoman for her father, Nelson Mandela. But this does not comes as a shock since Maki has never really had any time with her father. After her parents’ divorce, she lived with her mother in Johannesburg. For the first eight years of her father’s imprisonment, she could not visit him: Children younger than 16 were barred from seeing their incarcerated parents. After she turned 16, she was allowed in for 45 minutes once or twice a year.
Maki felt deeply troubled when people referred to her father as Christ saying:
`My father is not Jesus Christ,” Maki insists. “He’s just a human being. He said it himself in his first speech in Capetown: `I’m not a prophet.’ But nobody listened.”
She later became director of the Nelson Mandela Foundation accepting her legacy. She is mother of a daughter, Tukwini 38, and two sons, Dumani, 36, and Kweku, 28.