Dr. Maki Mandela, the eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela, talks to leading South African journalist John Battersby about her father’s life and legacy and about the works of art that he created in later life at this year’s Blenheim Literary Festival.
Makaziwe ‘Maki’ Mandela is the daughter of Nelson Mandela and his first wife, Evelyn Mase. She worked closely with the South African government on her father’s memorial celebrations in Johannesburg and on the funeral in his ancestral home, Qunu. Nelson Mandela is perhaps the most famous statesman of the latter part of the 20th century. He also took up art in later life, and Maki Mandela will talk about the works of art he produced that included sketches of Robben Island, where he was imprisoned, and the famous Hand of Africa.
Maki Mandela was educated at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. In 1993, she earned a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, USA. She is a businesswoman and founder of the House of Mandela wine label. She has worked at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Battersby is a former editor of The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg and former correspondent for the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. He gained a reputation for analysing and interpreting the complexities of transition, reconciliation and reparation at the end of apartheid. He is the former UK country manager of Brand South Africa, which promotes the country’s image for trade, tourism and investment. Battersby knew Nelson Mandela during his years as a foreign correspondent and interviewed him many times.