Zindzi Mandela first made her mark in South Africa and the world at 16 with publishing in 1978 of her book of poetry “Black As I Am” ((with photographs by renowned Peter Magubane).
Year before, she had gone into banishment by the Apartheid regime with her mother to conservative rightwing bastion of Apartheid roots small town of Brandfort in the Free State 55km outside Bloemfontein.
Traumatic as it was for the young girl, she nevertheless finally resisted the temptation of a better education and life outside the country friends of her parents and the international anti-apartheid movement offered her, and by her mother’s side, in Brandfort, under the very watchful eye of the security branch that guarded her mother and her movements with newest member of the household, MK Malefane, in the early 80’s, was to inspire and pioneer underground, with other comrades, above board formation of the mass democratic movement, Ünited Democratic Front, UDF, that contributed to acceleration of the final fall of Apartheid. Led by Zindzi as well underground, was continuing recruitment into exile for military training under the ANC’s military wing, Mkhonto we Sizwe “MK”.
Between her parents’ home in Orlando West, Soweto and banishment home, Brandfort, she also led social and community relief initiatives including under Institute of Race Relations’ Operation Hunger. She also inspired and adopted one of South Africa’s first Anti Apartheid gay rights activists, Simon Nkoli.
Zindzi was about to embark, with the support of her dearest friends, on an initiative to rededicate and continue her mother’s legacy in South Africa, the continent and Diaspora when she met with her untimely passing