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Zoleka Mandela passed away from cancer on Monday evening at the age of 43. The granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, was surrounded by friends and family in her final moments, according to a report from the BBC.

The cause of death was reported as breast cancer.

Zoleka Mandela is seen as an inspiration for detailing her cancer treatment and her history of drug addiction. She has raised “awareness about cancer prevention” as well as “breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease.”

Zoleka was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, and was only 10 years old when her grandfather was released from prison in 1990 after 27 years in detention. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Through Mr. Mandela’s legacy, Zoleka stood up for the betterment of her community. After her 13-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident in 2010, Zoleka campaigned for better road safety. She later lost a son who was born prematurely. She is survived by four children whom she loved very much.

Zoleka was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. She was in remission after receiving treatment but the illness later returned. In 2022, she confirmed that she had cancer in her liver and lungs, which then spread to other organs.

“What do I tell my children? How do I tell them that this time around I may not get to live my life as a survivor? How do I tell them everything will be OK when it’s not? I’m dying… I don’t want to die,” she posted on Instagram in August 2022.

In an interview with Kaya FM in April, Ms. Mandela said: “I’m learning to be okay with my eventuality.” In her autobiography When Hope Whispers, she documents her emotionally inspirational story.

Rest In Heaven Zoleka Mandela!

While statistics along racial lines show that Black and white women have roughly the same chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer, a study published last year found that there was an increased risk of breast cancer particularly for Black women exposed to parabens, which are commonly added to beauty products to prevent mold and bacteria from growing. However, researchers from the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners found that parabens like methylparaben and hydroxybenzoate can act as endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen in the body. According to the study, parabens can have an adverse impact on normal breast cells and potentially influence their abnormal growth. This can lead to an increased risk for breast cancer.


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Nelson Mandela’s Granddaughter Zoleka Mandela Dies At 43  was originally published on