South African Interviews

Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren to get their own reality show


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Umm… ok…. so following in the footsteps of the Kardashians, Nelson Mandela’s three granddaughters have made a deal with an American TV producer (Rick Leed) to star in a new reality show for South African television which will follow their everyday lives. It’s called ‘Meet the Mandelas’. Wow. Is this a good move?

Reading about it today, apparently their aim is “to showcase the new Africa and give viewers a peek into its level of sophistication and its exciting potential.” (According to an official statement announced during a press conference in Johannesburg) The director of the show, Graeme Swanepoel, said during a press conference: “The show will be about [their] lives as young, black women. This is about three women breaking away from the Mandela legacy to find their own feet.” The three granddaughters are: Dorothy Adjoa Amuah, Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, and her younger sister Swati Dlamini. The plan is for them to be followed around their homes and their lives by cameras.

Amuah is the youngest, at 27, and has a law degree and an MBA. She works in the luxury brands business. Dlamini-Manaway is 34 and will be the ‘mother figure’ of the show with a 10-year-old son, a two-year-old daughter, and a third child due in January 2012. She is involved in a family business, Mandela Dlamini Associates, and she has plans to launch a clothing line. Dlamini is 32 and is a single mother with goals of getting back into the career world. Her plans include setting up a foundation focused on the housing, education and medical sectors. Hmmm. Is South Africa ready for this? According to The Telegraph, concerns have been raised that it could come across as tacky. “The commodification of the Mandela name is rampant and many are watching it with growing alarm,” a source close to the family has said.

Time will tell. 

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