Mention the name "Mandela" and most people think of the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela. But the Mandela name is now on a product not usually associated with his legacy – wine. His daughter and granddaughter have formed the House of Mandela brand from which a portion of the profits will help improve the lives of Africa’s poverty-stricken communities. Maki Mandela, Nelson's daughter and Maki's daughter, Tukwini join “Starting Point” this morning to discuss their new endeavor.
Maki says using the Mandela family name is important because it promotes South Africa as well as a good product. She adds, “The wine industry itself is an agricultural product, it's about the soil. It employs about 450,000 people in South Africa. It contributes about three to four billion rands to the GDP of South Africa so it's a very important industrial sector.”
Regarding how other family members feel about the use of Mandela for the brand, Maki says she thinks “there will always be concern.” She says her father told her “if you use the name either for commercial or charitable or political, use it with a lot of integrity and responsibility.” Ultimately Maki says, the “House of Mandela's goal is to “continue our legacy of the House of Mandela – to promote the values that my father also emphasizes very strongly that he was made by the customs, by the traditions, by the values of his ancestors, they shaped him. And he always tells us we should always remember who we are and remember those values.”
Maki says the case involving Oscar Pistorius is a tragedy. She adds, “I am a mother of four children I have brought up also my late brother's children so in all I have 11 children… and I think if I was a parent either Reeva's parent, I would be devastated. I wouldn't know what to do. My son, my youngest son knows Reeva and she says she was a very, very good person.”
Maki says she also feels sorry for and empathizes with the parents of Olympian Oscar Pistorius. She adds, “If it was my son, I don't know where I would start, if your son killed somebody as it is alleged. So it's a tragedy for all of South Africa also, it’s not just a tragedy for those two families, for us as South Africa because Oscar Pistorius has a role model to a lot of kids.”