Nelson Mandela Welcomes New Great-Grandchild

By ABC News

Sep 20, 2011 2:43pm
.ht nelson mandela heir dm 110920 vblog Nelson Mandela Welcomes New Great Grandchild

Nelson Mandela holds his great-grandson, Nkosi Qheya II Zanethemba Mandela, who was born Sept. 1, 2011. (Courtesy Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Reported by Dana Hughes:

Nelson Mandela’s family has released a photo of the 93-year-old South African  icon cradling the newest member of his family, his eighth great-grandchild. The new  baby, born to Mandela’s grandson Mandla, is Mandela’s direct heir.

The picture was taken in Qunu,  Mandela’s ancestral home, where he has lived for the past two months. 

 In almost all African cultures, a child’s name is steeped in tradition. Nelson Mandela’s own birth name is Nkosi Rolihlala Dalibhunga Mandela. The name Nelson was given to him on his first day of school, because it was easier to pronounce. Such name changes were commonplace for Africans attending colonial schools.

The name of the newest member of the Mandela family, Nkosi Qheya II Zanethemba Mandela, is also steeped in tradition. His name was chosen by Mandela himself, who is now considered the clan elder.

The Mandela family said Qheya was the birth name of Nelson Mandela’s cousin, the Royal Majesty King Gangelizwe of the AbaThembu. The baby’s second name, Zanethemba, translated from the Xhosa language to mean “Bringing Hope,” was chosen to symbolize continuity of the family.

“As the first-born son of Nkosi Dalibhunga’s [Nelson Mandela's] male heir, the child represents a continuation of the Mandela family and the journey undertaken by their forefathers,” read a statement by the Mandela family.

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