There is a fine line between paying homage and being disrespectful and in my not-so-humble opinion I feel that the “Being Mandela” reality show is totally disrespectful to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and what he stands for but before I get ahead of myself let me explain the situation.
Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini the daughters of Zenani Mandela and Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini of Swaziland and granddaughters to Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela recently announced the launch of a reality show called “Being Mandela” which chronicles their lives as the granddaughters to Apartheid stalwart, Noble Piece prize winner and former President Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela.
Zaziwe & Swati,who are both in their 30s, spent most of their lives in the USA in exile and both speak with distinct American accents moved back to South Africa to launch a fashion label called ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ along with their mother & 2 siblings. Now they are to star in a ‘Keeping up with…’ type reality show. Mr. Mandela doesn’t appear whatsoever but he is mentioned heavily throughout which seems to be basis of the show.
Several of the members of the Mandela clan also make appearances like their siblings Zozuko & Zinhle, their mother Zenani and most notably their grandmother Winnie who they refer to as ‘Big Mommy’ the youngest granddaughter featured on the show is Dorothy Adjoa Amuah, whose grandmother was Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn.
They claim Madiba approves of the show & even watches it occasionally. Swati was quoted saying “But our grandparents have always said to us, this is our name too, and we can do what we think is best fitting with the name, as long as we treat it with respect and integrity.”
Is it respect & integrity to blatantly exploit the name of one the greatest human beings to ever live?
The 13-episode first season follows the two women as they try to carry on the family legacy while juggling motherhood in Johannesburg and airs in South Africa on the Fox channel at 20.15 every Wednesday on DSTV & Top TV watch it and judge for yourselves.