Nelson Mandela‘s grandson is not pleased about Meghan Markle comparing her marriage to his grandfather’s prison release!
While speaking to The Cut on Monday, the duchess recalled attending Disney‘s Lion King premiere in 2019. While attending the event, she claims an unnamed South African cast member pulled her aside and said when she married Prince Harry, South Africa “rejoiced” as they did when Mandela was freed from prison:
“He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.'”
Now, we don’t know who it was who told her, but we doubt they’ll be coming forward to confirm after the activist’s grandson Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela caught wind of the claim. Speaking to DailyMail on Tuesday, he said there is no comparison:
“Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So It cannot be equated to as the same.”
He continued, seemingly referring to the 41-year-old comparing herself to his grandfather, and urged anyone who wants to start “comparing themselves” as an equal to him to look into the work he put in:
“Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him. But before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed.”
Markle’s claims have stunned the Mandela family, and Zwelivelile said Nelson’s release from his 27-year sentence was far more important than her “marriage to a white prince”. He went on to speak of his grandfather’s work and how he refused to “be silent” on the issues that matter:
“We are still bearing scars of the past. But they [Nelson Mandela’s celebrations] were a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time. He spoke for oppressed minorities, children and women and protracting the most vulnerable people in our society. He always spoke about oppressed nations around the globe and yet people are silent on those issues. But this is what we like to see [from] people when they regard themselves as being a “Nelson Mandela”. Then you could be a a champion of the causes that he represented.”
The African National Congress MP also gave some advice, telling readers to “live the life” Nelson did, because there’s no “value” in these celebrations if someone is “opposed to what he stood for”:
“My advice to everyone is to live the life Nelson Mandela lived and support the causes he supported. That is the ultimate litmus test. What is the value of people dancing in the street and chanting President Nelson Mandela’s name when what they stand for is diametrically opposed to what he stood for?”
In closing, he popped off once again, reminding the price the activist paid is in no way similar to her wedding celebrations:
“Nelson Mandela’s release from jail was the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives. It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding.”
What a response! The work which the South Africa native did is incomparable to what most of us will ever do in our lifetimes, so we can see why it’s a bit silly comparing it to a royal wedding. The things he stood for and fought against are things most of us will never have to go through — especially the royal family! It’s understandable the Mandela family is stunned by the remarks. It definitely comes off as tone-deaf…
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Was Meghan out of line in choosing to publicly relay this? Sound OFF in the comments (below).
[Image via MEGA/WENN/Phil Lewis/Avalon]