Zoleka Mandela Biography: Age, Husband, Mother, Children, Breast Cancer

Zoleka Mandela picture


Zoleka Mandela (born April 9, 1980) is a South African activist and writer. She is the granddaughter of the anti-apartheid activist and the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

The author has written about her daughter’s demise, battles with breast cancer, and addictions. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor. In 2013, Zoleka published her autobiography.

Zoleka Mandela
Zoleka Mandela biography
Zoleka Mandela is Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter.
Quick Facts
Full Name:Zoleka Mandela
Born:April 9, 1980
Nationality:South African
Parents:MJ Seakamela
Zindzi Mandela
Grandparents:Nelson Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Occupation:Writer, Activist

Early Life

Zoleka Mandela was born on April 9, 1980, to Zindi Mandela and Zwelibanzi Hlongwane. Her maternal family is descendants of King Madiba of the Thembu people. 

The writer also speaks about sexual abuse in her childhood.

Personal Life

Zoleka separated from her husband, Thierry Bashala, after a six-year marriage. She says, “it took her two years to leave the relationship that didn’t longer serve her.”

Zoleka battled drug and alcohol addictions for a time. Sadly in 2010, she lost her 13-year-old daughter, Zenani, in a car crash. The unfortunate event happened on their return from a concert.

Drugs were reportedly the cause of the accident, and she was recovering from a suicide attempt.

In 2021, she fell in love again and fell pregnant with her sixth child and first with her new man. She later welcomed her daughter, Zingce Zobuhle Mandela

Her grandparents, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are notable personalities in South Africa. Her grandfather was the first black president of South Africa.


In 2011, she received treatments for breast cancer, but it returned after five years in 2016. She described the removed tumor on social media. She further talked about the side effects of her chemotherapy treatment.

Her oncologist informed the two-time-breast cancer survivor that having another child could increase her risk of getting cancer again in 2017. Mandela wanted more children at that time.

In 2022, Zoleka revealed she battled cancer which returned in August. A scan she underwent revealed cancer in her liver and lungs.

The writer treated cancer in her lungs, liver, ribs, spinal cord, and hips. Mandela also revealed she was diagnosed with bone metastasis.

To manage the side effects of cancer, the mother of six worked out two to three times a week.

Social Profiles

Zoleka Mandela carries followers on social media along with her life journey, accomplishments, and more. She posts pictures of her with her children and interviews sessions.

The writer creates awareness as a Road Safety and Breast Cancer Activist. She updates followers on her workout journey and diet.