Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel Married 1998, For Nelson Mandela, the third time is the charm in his marriage to Graca Machel. Graca is not only the first African woman to become a British dame, she is also the only woman to hold the title of “first lady” to two presidents from two different countries. Here is information about their marriage.
6/11/2010: Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter, Zenani Mandela, died in a car crash. She was 13 years old and on the way home after attending the World Cup soccer tournament kick-off concert in Soweto.
Nelson Mandela aka Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela: July 18, 1918 in the province of Transkei, South Africa.
Graca Simbine Machel: October 17, 1945 in Incadine, Gaza, Mozambique.
Nelson and Graça were married on July 18, 1998, his eightieth birthday, in the presence of family, sixteen friends, and one photographer.
“They were married in the new house [in Houghton], Mandela in a gold-patterned open shirt, Graca wearing a long white dress with wide puffed sleeves, Elizabethan-style. They were blessed beforehand by the Chief Rabbi, and also by the Muslim Sheikh Nazim Mohammed and the Hindu Mrs. Nanachene. They were married by a methodist Bishop, Myume Dandala — since they had both been brought up as Methodists — assisted by Desmond Tutu …”
Source: Anthony Sampson. Mandela: The Authorized Biography. 2000. pg. 543.
The wedding reception for Nelson and Graca was combined with Nelson’s birthday party at the Gallagher Convention Centre. There were 2000 guests including Michael Jackson, Danny Glover, and Stevie Wonder.
Nelson and Graca honeymooned in Argentina and Brazil and later had a private honeymoon in Qunu.
Nelson had four children with Evelyn Mase.
Nelson: “In our culture, to give a new child the name of a deceased child is considered a way of honoring the earlier child’s memory and retaining a mystical attachment to the child who left too soon.”
Source: Nelson Mandela. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Paperback edition 1995. pg. 206.
Nelson had two children with Winnie Madikizela.
Graca has two children, daughter Jozina and son Malnga. She is step-mother to her first husband’s five children.
Nelson: Former President of South Africa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, attorney, former President of African national Congress, author, speaker, and anti-apartheid activist.
Graca: Chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique, President of the Foundation of Community Development, Minister for Education and Culture in Mozambique, and school teacher.
Graca and Nelson live in rural South Africa.
Nelson had two previous marriages:
“Evelyn Mandela gives her husband an ultimatum to choose between her or the ANC. She is also distressed about rumours that Mandela has relations with other women. In December, while Mandela is imprisoned for two weeks, she moves out of their home. He finds the house empty when he is released on bail.” Source: “South African History Online. SAHistory.org.za. 06/1955.
Source: “Nelson’s Letters to Winnie.” PBS.org.
Graca was previously married to Mozambique’s former president, Samora Machel. They were married in September 1975. Their marriage lasted until his death in a plane crash on October 19, 1986.