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Mandela’s grandson visits campus for lecture, student meetings

Ndaba Mandela

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, will visit campus Oct. 12 for a public lecture and meetings with students as he celebrates the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and the publication of his new book, “Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela.”

Ndaba Mandela, chairman of Africa Rising, will speak at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, on “Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Through Legacy, Humanity and Empowerment.” Copies of Mandela’s book will be available for purchase at the event from the Cornell Store. Mandela will also host a book-signing after his talk.

“The lessons Ndaba learned from his grandfather have such relevance to our society today,” said Muna Ndulo, professor of law and director for Cornell’s Institute for African Development. “He emphasized humility in leadership, discipline and integrity.”

Mandela’s nonprofit, Africa Rising, was founded in 2009 to inspire a new generation of young Africans and contribute to Africa’s economic development. Its projects include promoting entrepreneurship programs in high schools; video and social media campaigns; youth empowerment programs, including coding workshops; establishment of resource centers in rural communities; and support for youth farming programs.

“Africa has a huge youth population, with more than 60 percent of its population below the age of 25,” Ndulo said. “Mandela is working to empower this population to tackle the challenges of poverty and inequality and encourage them to get involved in politics and in leadership.”

Mandela lived with his grandfather as a child and describes in his book how his grandfather steered him away from a reckless youth toward adulthood. The book illustrates the life lessons Nelson Mandela taught his grandson about freedom, education, resistance and peace and also includes tribal wisdom and folktales of Nelson Mandela’s Xhosa tribe.

Mandela’s campus visit is sponsored by Entrepreneurship at Cornell in collaboration with the Institute for African Development.

Kathy Hovis is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Jeff Tyson