Nelson Mandela: A Name Worth Billions of Dollars

It is tough to find the right words to describe the late Nelson Mandela. His name is synonymous with South Africa, where he fought against apartheid for most of his life. Many people elevated him into sainthood based on his down to earth personality, humility, and his selfless acts. The late Mandela spent 27 years in jail at the expense of his family and even refused to be compromised in order to see freedom. He went to prison a young man and came out grey-haired, but he still maintained his vibrant personality.

He did what most African leaders are reluctant to do; after South Africa’s independence, he ran for his first term in office as the first black president in South Africa. This brought him a lot of admiration from foreign world leaders and indignation from octogenarian African presidents who clung to power. The fact that he had waited this long to liberate his people did not taint his heart.

Mandela’s life was devoid of luxury and extravagance. He mingled with almost everyone and was known for having a giant heart of forgiveness and a genuine concern for humanity. If Nelson Mandela could earn a dollar anytime he received accolades then he would have died a multi-billionaire. While many have profited a lot from writing books about him, it is the move by his family to make money from his name that has got many people wondering about the ethics.

House of Mandela

The wine house is run by two of Mandela’s granddaughters; Maki and Tukwini Mandela. Everything about the wine house is inspired by the Mandela name. For example, the deep river wine resembles the dashiki Mandela shirt; he was known for his dazzling shirts. The emblem to the house of Mandela has a bee on it, which is in reference to Mandela’s Xhosa name “Rolihlahla,” which stands for someone who is brave enough to fetch the honey from a beehive. The South African wine industry is dominated by whites, and many have argued that the granddaughters would not have made it if it was not for the Mandela brand name.

Being Nelson Mandela

The show has created a row in South Africa, with many calling for it to be brought down as it exploits the Mandela name for gain. Many South Africans hold the late Mandela name in high regard; their hero who spent 27 years in jail for their freedom. The reality show – similar to the Kardashians who have been criticized for their low morals – stars two of Mandela’s granddaughters; Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini. They both live in the US, which is where the show was first aired on the FOX channel.

While reality shows are the “in,” the use of Mandela’s name has not been well received in South Africa. Mandela lived his life campaigning against various social ills; he was at the forefront of fighting against AIDS and received broad media coverage. The Nelson Mandela Foundation continues to change many disadvantaged South African lives; providing scholarships and keeping the Mandela legacy alive. However, it is yet to be seen whether the proceeds of the reality show will go into honoring the late freedom fighter through his foundations.


Many people desire to leave a lasting legacy to their children, and Nelson Mandela was no exception. Mandela’s children would argue that it is their time to have a piece of Nelson Mandela; he was away most of the time, and this is a way to reward themselves for the years he was absent in their lives. It is true; it must’ve been hard living without a father close by, but there are values that the late Mandela lived for which need to be preserved.

His name has also been muddied when it comes to ANC policies. Many political leaders in the party have been unable to step into the massive footprints he left behind; many living a life of extreme luxury while the majority of the people live in poverty.

A good name is something worth protecting. The late Nelson Mandela would have been repulsed to find out that his name is associated with enrichment schemes. The only way the family can live up to his legacy is to continue with the poverty eradication campaigns that he had started.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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