September 29, 2023

Here's a list of people Zoleka Mandela didn't want at her funeral

Zoleka Mandela kept a diary where she wrote down her thoughts and wishes
Picture: ZiMoja

She planned her last days right down to the guest list at her funeral. Today, author, activist and mom Zoleka Mandela's service will be for close family and friends at Bryanston Methodist Church. She will be laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park, next to her two late children, her mother, and grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Zoleka died after an 11-year battle with cancer. She died on 25 September after a long battle with metastatic cancer which spread to her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord. 


In her diary, she listed the people she did not wish to have at her funeral or near her body. On the list is: Thierry Bashala, who is the father of her two children. Leeroy Andie Cana, the father of her last born Zingce. She also listed some people from the Mandela and Madikizela family; Zenani Mandela Snr, Mandla Mandela, Zukiswa Madikizela, Nsundu Madikizela, and Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo. Zoleka recently revealed that she had been preparing for her death. She met with her family, a lawyer and a therapist to discuss what life would be like for her children after she died. "It will probably sound strange but, I am in my panic stages. I think I am blessed and fortunate enough to be in a position where I am in my planning stages. I am having conversations with my loved ones, lawyer, therapist and siblings to discuss what happens on the day and after I pass away. Zoleka revealed that she did not want to bother her siblings when she died.



Zoleka was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old and went on to have a double mastectomy. As if that was not enough, she lost her daughter Zenani, named after her aunt, in a car crash in 2010 during the Fifa World Cup. In 2011, she lost her newborn son Zenawe who was born prematurely. In 2012, she married Thierry Bashala and they had two children; Zanyiwe and Zenzile, but later divorced in 2020. In 2020 Zoleka fell in love with painter Andile Cana and had her last-born daughter Zingce in 2023.


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