Updated December 5th, 2023 at 21:27 IST

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter urges UK royal family to pay reparations to Africa

The granddaughter of South Africa’s First President Nelson Mandela called out the British royal family, demanding reparations for their colonialism in Africa.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Ndileka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nobel laurate | Image:X

The granddaughter of South Africa’s First President Nelson Mandela has called out the British royal family, demanding reparations for their colonialism in the continent of Africa. Ndileka Mandela who is a climate activist and an author urged the United Kingdom to acknowledge its role in Colonising parts of Africa. The proclamation came days after King Charles III gave an address about climate change at the COP28 summit. Reacting to his speech, Ndileka noted that “climate apartheid” is one of the most painful ripples of its colonial legacy, The Independent reported. 

“If there can be an acknowledgement of what was done to countries to colonise because we are still suffering a great deal from colonisation, in as far as our culture as Black people is concerned,” the granddaughter of the Nobel laureate averred. “So there has got to be first admission of the fact that yes, we acknowledge that we displaced you as a people. Then we can talk of reparations,” she added. When asked if she specifically wanted to see the British royal family giving reparations to the African nations it colonised, she gave an affirmative response on the matter. “Yes, I would. That’s where healing begins,” she replied.


She admitted that King Charles’ admission of the “painful aspects” of the UK’s relations with Kenya, is the beginning of the “healing process”. “If you are arguing with the next person and you come to a tiff, when you sit around the table and admit your part, both parties admit their part in the disillusion of whatever it is that happened, it is then that healing begins. If that happens, the healing will begin,” she remarked. Her take on the matter came two months after the British monarch acknowledged the horrors of the UK’s colonial past in Kenya. “We must also acknowledge the most painful times of our long, complex relationship. The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret,” Charles said in his speech, at that time. “They were abhorrent, unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans, as they waged a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty. And, for that, there can be no excuse,” she added.

Ndileka on the Harry and Meghan Saga

Ndileka also reacted to the ongoing tussle between the British royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. When asked if the Sussex faced racism in the United Kingdom, Ndileka insisted that the couple needed to find “their own voice” in the matter. “ “I believe Harry and Meghan had to find their own voice, in a similar way Grandad had to find his own voice. They should be given, like any other person, room to voice out whatever their misgivings are,” she averred. “I cannot speak to whether Harry and Meghan’s children have been discriminated [against], because I don’t have first-hand information of that. However… he should be allowed to voice out whatever he wants to voice out and choose his own path,” she added. 


Published December 5th, 2023 at 18:37 IST