The Thembekile Mandela Foundation seeks to promote and continue my grandfather, Nelson Mandela’s legacy of creating health and education programmes as pillars central to the social development of previously disadvantaged communities.
I founded this Foundation because I understood personally, as his first grandchild from his first son Thembekile, his unwavering belief in the benefits of excellent education and health systems in building a thriving nation. This was a belief he not only shared with the world but with his family too. In a letter Granddad wrote to my mother on the 11 November 1969, a mere 4 months after my father Thembekile died in a car accident, he had this to say;
“In my letter to Thembi in ’66 or ’67, I suggested that both of you should be careful not to neglect your education and that if you found it difficult to go back to school to a boarding school, you should enrol for tuition with a correspondence college. I want to repeat this for your consideration.
Today there are millions of people throughout the world who are studying privately and who are making excellent progress. By raising their level of education, they increase knowledge and become more valuable in saving their countries and people. For you Molokazana, advance studies would serve a double purpose.
It would keep your mind engaged in some fruitful occupation, which in turn, will guarantee you some measure of security and independence. Secondly it would make it easier for you to carry out your life’s dreams.”