Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 and died, aged 95, on 5 December 2013. His large family tree remains, growing from three wives and six children to 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and on, into the next generation.
Mandela’s father was Mphakanyiswa Gadla Henry Mandela, who died in 1930. His mother was Nonqaphi Fanny Nosekeni, who died in 1968.
Mandela was married three times, and had six children. Only two of his children survive.
Marriage and children
In 1944, at the age of 26, Mandela married Evelyn Ntoko Mase (1922-2004). They had four children together, three of whom died tragically.
Mandela’s first child, Madiba Thembekile Mandela – known as Thembi – was born in 1945. Thembi died in a car accident in 1969 while his father was in prison. Mandela was not allowed to attend his son’s funeral.
A second child, daughter Makaziwe (or Maki) Mandela, died in infancy in 1948.
Mandela and Evelyn Mase’s third child was Makgatho Lewanika Mandela, a son born in 1950. He died of an Aids-related illness in 2005.
Their fourth and surviving child is a daughter, Pumla Makaziwe Mandela – also known as Maki and named for her infant sister – who was born in 1954.
Mandela and Evelyn Mase divorced on 19 March 1958.
On 14 June 1958 Mandela, aged 40, married Winnie (Winifred) Nomzamo Zanyiwe Madikizela, who was born in 1936.
They had two children, both daughters.
Zenani Dlamini-Mandela was born in 1959.
Zindziswa Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s youngest child, was born in 1960. Zindzi, as she was known, died on 13 July 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. She was buried next to her mother on 17 July, the day before 18 July – her father’s birthday, known worldwide as Mandela Day.
Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela divorced on 19 March 1996.
On 18 July 1998 – his 80th birthday – Mandela married Graça Machel, who was born in 1945. Machel is the widow of slain Mozambican President Samora Machel.
Nelson Mandela had 17 grandchildren, nine born to the children of Evelyn Mase and eight born to the children of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Grandchildren with Evelyn Mase
Thembi Mandela had two daughters: Ndileka Mandela (born in 1965) and Nandi Mandela (born in 1968).
Makgatho Mandela had four sons: Mandla Mandela (born in 1974), Ndaba Mandela (born in 1983), Mbuso Mandela (born in 1991) and Andile Mandela (born in 1993).
Pumla Maki Mandela has three children: daughter Tukwini Mandela (born in 1974) and sons Dumani Mandela (born in 1976) and Kweku Mandela (born in 1985).
Grandchildren with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Zenani Dlamini-Mandela has four children: daughters Zaziwe Manaway (born in 1977) and Zamaswazi Dlamini (born in 1979), and sons Zinhle Dlamini (born in 1980) and Zozuko Dlamini (born in 1992).
Zindzi Mandela also has four children: daughter Zoleka Mandela (born in 1980) and sons Zondwa Mandela (born in 1985), Bambatha Mandela (born in 1989) and Zwelabo Mandela (born in 1992).
The eldest of Mandela’s 19 great-grandchildren was born in 1984, while he was still in prison, and the youngest in 2017 – a span of 33 years.
Great-grandchildren with Evelyn Mase
Thembi Mandela’s family:
Nandi Mandela has a son: Hlanganani Mandela, born in 1986.
Ndileka Mandela has two children: son Thembela Mandela (born in 1984) and daughter Pumla Mandela (born in 1993).
Makgatho Mandela’s family:
Mandla Mandela has two sons: Qheya II Zanethemba Mandela (born in 2011) and Mntwanenkosi Mandela Ikraam Mandela (born in 2017).
Ndaba Mandela also has two sons: Lewanika Ngubencuka Mandela (born in 2010) and Makgabane Sandlasamadlomo Mandela (born in 2015).
Great-grandchildren with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Zenani Dlamini-Mandela’s family:
Zaziwe Manaway has three children: son Ziyanda Manaway (born in 2000), daughter Zipokhazi Manaway (born in 2009), and son Zenkosi John Brunson Manaway (born in 2012).
Zamaswazi Dlamini has a daughter: Zamakhosi Obiri (born in 2008).
Zinhle Dlamini has two daughters: Zinokuhle Marlo Dlamini (born in 2014) and Zenzelwe Marli Mandela Dlamini (born in 2016).
Zindzi Mandela’s family:
Zoleka Mandela had four children, two of whom have tragically died. Her daughter Zenani Mandela was born in 1997, and died in 2010. Her son Zenawe Zibuyile Mandela died in infancy in 2011. Zoleka’s surviving children are a son, Zwelami Mandela (born in 2003), and a daughter, Zanyiwe Zenzile Bashala (born in 2014).
Zondwa Mandela has two children: daughter Zazi Kazimla Vitalia Mandela (born in 2010) and son Ziwelene Linge Mandela (born in 2011).
- Nelson Mandela Foundation
- South African History Online
- Mail & Guardian
- Globe and Mail
- Daily Dispatch
Researched, designed and written by Mary Alexander.
Updated 25 July 2020.