South African lawmaker Zwelivelile Mandelsizwe Mandela arrived in Manila Friday afternoon to do charity work alongside the Miss World Organization. He is the oldest grandson of the late South African president Nelson Mandela.
“Chief” Mandela, who joined Miss World beauties and pageant chairman Julia Morley in a news conference at New World Makati, said his family’s foundation has long enjoyed the support of Miss World Charities in South Africa. This time, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has pledged to assist the organization in its charity work here in the Philippines.
“This is my first time in the Philippines, although my mother used to stay in Hong Kong for about eight years so I had a lot of interaction with many Filipinos over there. [You] are such a loving and warm people, and we are really enjoying our stay here,” Mandela said.
He told The Manila Times he would meet anew with Miss World 2010 Megan Young, whom he had worked with during the Filipina’s reign.
“We are looking forward to seeing our friend Megan Young who is Miss World 2010,” Mandela said.
Along with Morley, Mandela will visit Miss World’s beneficiaries in Manila, namely Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila (the official beneficiary of the Miss World Philippines Organization); Fr. Rocky Evangelista’s Tuloy Foundation for abandoned and street children in Muntinlupa; the Philippine General Hospital’s pediatric ward; and Miss World Philippines 2016 Catriona Gray’s “Paraiso the Bright Beginnings” project, a special school in Smokey Mountain.
“For me in particular, one of the real reasons I committed to come to the Philippines was to meet Fr. Rocky because Julia Morley has been telling me a lot about the work he has been doing. If you’ve heard me speak about the pre-schools we have in the village, we will try to see what we can learn from Fr. Rocky’s experiences that we can go and share with the young people [in South Africa],” Mandela said.
Mandela, who is in Manila for a four-day visit, will also attend the coronation night of Miss World Philippines 2017 on September 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Lauding the Miss World Organization, Mandela said the beauty pageant has truly lived up to its slogan of “beauty with a purpose.”
“In Miss World it’s not really about beauty, it’s about the purpose. These ladies are really agents of change in their communities. First and foremost you start with your family, and with your neighbors, and then your country until you can be a real assistance to the global community that we come from,” Mandela said.
Mandela was born in Soweto and completed his tertiary education at Rhodes University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics. He was first elected to parliament in the 2009 elections and has represented the African National Congress in the National Assembly, handling the committee on rural development and land reform.
Mandela is also the chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council.