Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela

Blackwell & Ruth2017

The Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation
Johannesburg, South Africa

Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela was born in Welkom, South Africa. She is the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Nomzamo Nobandla Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and of King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and Mbhono Shongwe. A business developer, public speaker and self-described serial entrepreneur, she launched her luxury fashion range, Swati by Roi Kaskara, in 2017.

Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela was interviewed about her life, career and hope for the future for 200 WOMEN, a book and exhibition project founded on the principle of gender equality comprising original interviews and accompanying photographic portraits. This landmark project is the realisation of an epic global journey to find two hundred women with diverse backgrounds, and to ask them what really matters to them.

Q. What really matters to you?
We need to look after each other as human beings and take it upon ourselves to make the world a better place. My grandfather’s call to action when he retired many years ago was that he’d done his bit – both my grandparents have done their bit – and that it really is up to us, as a world, to make the world a better place. My grandparents have got us somewhere that is just remarkable, but, if we do not continue their work, it would be very easy for us to go back.
It’s important for me to be my own person in whatever it is that I’m doing, whether it’s my career or my personal relationship or being a mother. And I always like to keep things evolving, changing and moving. I open myself up so the universe can bring me something – if I feel it resonates with me, I go with it. I think my self‑expression is critical, because I know that my grandmother has fought tirelessly for women to express themselves – to be whatever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. And much like my mum and grandmother taught me, I have a responsibility to teach my daughter how she can be the best version of herself.

Q. What brings you happiness?
I find my happiness in prayer, I do. It makes me cry when I think about it because it’s been such a vehicle for me to release, forgive and heal.

Q. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Oppression of any kind.

Q. What would you change if you could?
I would love to teach people how to love themselves. Because it starts with the self: if you can learn to love yourself, then I don’t think that you can hate your fellow human being.

Q. Which single word do you most identify with?
Love. It can eradicate hate.


  • Title: Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela
  • Creator: Blackwell & Ruth
  • Date Created: 2017
  • Location Created: Soweto, South Africa
  • Original Source: 200 Women
  • Rights: Blackwell and Ruth Limited
  • Photographer: Image copyright (c) Kieran. E. Scott

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