Kudos to everyone over at New York Mag – Nelson Mandela’s grandson reads The Cut!
Particularly, Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, who is a former MP of South Africa’s African National Congress, did a close reading of Meghan Markle’s cover story in which she told the mag an anecdote in which a cast member of Disney’s live-action Lion King who hailed from South Africa pulled her aside during the film’s London premiere.
According to Meghan, her interaction with the Lion King actor was one of joyous observance at the Altar of Markle (Suits action figures, a Trudon candle burning in lieu of incense).
“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,’ ” she said.
Nelson Mandela, of course, was in prison for 27 years for opposing apartheid in South Africa, until he was freed in 1990. The Fabulous Markle Twins draw inspiration from the work of Nelson Mandela and have vowed to his widow, activist Graça Michel, that their U.N. barnstorming shall always be in his honor. So safe to say, Meghan’s working the Mandela angle heavy. But it looks like Zwelivelile’s step-grandmother didn’t fill him in on the family’s newly adopted Aunt Meghan.
The younger Mandela told the Daily Mail that he was “surprised” by Meghan’s convo with this fawning British-South African film actor. According to the Mail, “Zwelivelile said when the people of South Africa expressed their joy at his grandfather's release and danced in the streets, it was for a far more important and serious reason than her marriage 'to a white prince'.”
“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,” he said.
For what it’s worth, the only above-the-line actor in the 2019 live-action Lion King who is immediately apparent as British-South African is veteran actor John Kani, who you might recognize as T’Chaka in Black Panther, and who lost his left eye at the hands of South African police in 1975 after returning home from the States from his Tony-winning performance in the anti-apartheid play he cowrote called Sizwe Banzi is Dead.
Knowing this, it’s hard to picture Kani saying that all to Meghan, but she does attract a prestigious crowd, being a No. 1-rated podcaster and all.