What do the Mandelas have to do with Miss World?
MANILA, Philippines – Zwelivelile "Mandla" Mandela also known as Chief Mandela, was in the Philippines last September 1 as part of the delegation of the Miss World Organzation. The grandson of the late president Nelson Mandela has been active in helping the Miss World Organization
In an interview with reporters after the press conference, Chief Mandela talked about how his grandfather inspired him to continue to serve the people of South Africa. The young Mandela is the leader of the Royal House of Mandela (RHoM) and Mvezo Traditional Council.
"What you see is what he made. My grandfather – from prison – he used to write to me letters, trying to ensure that I study, trying to ensure I am conscious about the world that I live in," he said.
Chief Mandela recalled how the elder Mandela removed him from South Africa at the height of the apartheid regime. He said the his grandfather made sure he had a good education abroad.
"I am a product of my grandfather and he has been a role model to me in shaping the man that I become, and this why I’m very committed in his true belief that we as a family should continue serving our people and if it's not just limited to our people but the global community at large," he added.
He also said that when people approach him about how they were inspired by the elder Mandela, he would share the story from the final chapter of the book Long Walk to Freedom, the autobiography of the former President of South Africa.
"He writes in Long Walk to Freedom – in his final chapter – that he’s sitting on top of a mountain enjoying the views that surrounds him. He looks back to see the many mountains that he has had to go to overcome and the many rivers that he has to cross only to realize that ahead, lies so many mountains and so many rivers. And that today that he’s no longer with us, simply as the next generation, we are to pick up where he left off and to continue to make a difference climbing those mountains and crossing those rivers that are ahead and jointly making a difference.
"I think people see the humility in my grandfather and how he was born from a simple family, from a simple background to becoming a global icon as he did. And anyone that is embracing Madiba’s (Mandela's clan name) story is a believer in change, is a believer in hope, is a believer in making a difference, and I think that all of us we look at such inspiration," he said.
Beauty with a Purpose
Aside from serving the people of South Africa as member of parliament, the young Mandela is also actively involved in the charity work of the Miss World organization.
"For us it's not about beauty, but about the purpose," he said referring to the orgnization's theme. "These ladies are really agents of change in their communities."
Part of his visit was spent going to the foundations and hospitals that the Miss World organization supports including the Tuloy Foundation of Fr. Rocky Evangelista, the Philippine General Hospital, and the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital.
During the interview, Chief Mandela said that he wanted to to learn from Fr. Rocky things that he hopes can be applied to the work he's doing back home. He also said that he tries to participate in the projects of Miss World on top of his commitment as a South African public servant.
"I've worked closely with Julia Morley since 2008 and wherever they go in the world, we always look at the calendar. I am a member of parliament at home, so I ensure that I fulfill my mandate first, but when I do have time to support this ownderful initiative of what Miss World is doing with Beauty with a Purpose, I always lend a hand."
At the coronation night of Miss World Philippines on Sunday, September 3, Chief Mandela called on everyone to support the projects of Beauty with a Purpose and the projects of the candidates.
"Beauty with a Purpose has committed itself to ensuring that it empowers young women to do what Madiba did – serving humanity. It is a global call that these young ladies shoudl be able to serve their neighbors, serve their communities, serve their countries, ensuring that they do good in the world.
"I therefore call on all business people as well as governments to come in full support of these young ladies and ensure that we support Beauty with a Purpose because people like Fr. Rocky, people like [those] from the Tuloy Foundation, [and] the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital are able to benefit from such causes. And we call on all of you Filipinos, the people of the Philippines, to support this cause." – Rappler.com