|South African Ambassador to Argentina|
October 2012 – 2017
|Preceded by||Tony Leon|
|South African High Commissioner to Mauritius|
|Assumed office |
|Born||4 February 1959|
|Spouse(s)||Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini (separated)|
|Relatives||Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane (sister) Thembekile Mandela (half-brother)|
Makgatho Mandela (half-brother)
Makaziwe Mandela (half-sister)
Zenani Mandela was born into a family of chieftains. Her father, Nelson, was a direct descendant of the holders of the kingship of the Thembu people and was himself the heir to the chieftaincy of Mvezo. His grandson, Zenani's nephew Mandla, eventually succeeded to the latter title.
She was nearly born in prison, as Winnie Mandela was arrested close to her birth in 1959, and when she was four her father was sent to prison, where he would stay for the next 27 years. Not until 1974, when she was 16 years old, could she visit him.
Mandela-Dlamini studied at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa and science at Boston University. It was there that she first met Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini of Swaziland (an elder brother of the reigning monarch of Swaziland, Mswati III and of Queen Mantfombi of the Zulus), who was studying science at the same university. The two married in 1973 and had four children – Zaziwe (born 1977), Zamaswazi (1979), Zinhle (1980) and Zozuko (1992) – and six grandchildren, but are currently separated. They are co-owners of Mandela, Dlamini and Associates (International Business Consultants).
Mandela-Dlamini was appointed ambassador for South Africa to Argentina in July 2012, (taking office in October), becoming the first of Mandela's children to enter public service; she succeeded retiring diplomat and former opposition leader Tony Leon. She served in this position until 2017, when she was appointed South African high commissioner to Mauritius.
After Mandela was elected president and his divorce to Winnie, Zenani was chosen to accompany her father to his inauguration and become the stand-in First Lady of South Africa until her father remarried on his 80th birthday to former Mozambique first lady Graça Machel.
- Smith, David, "Nelson Mandela's daughters emerge from his shadow to forge careers", The Guardian, 7 July 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- Williams, Juan (8 November 1987). "'Daddy Stayed in Jail. That Was His Job'; Zenani Mandela's Life Without Father". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- Smith, David (29 April 2013). "Southern Africa's first multiracial school celebrates 50 triumphant years". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "Swaziland prince and princess attend Boston University". The Ten O'Clock News. WGBH Boston. 13 May 1987. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
- Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume II. London: Burke's Peerage Ltd. 1980. pp. 217–218, 271, 320. ISBN 0-85011-029-7.
- "Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela". South African History Online.
- Forde, Fiona. "Mandela set for diplomatic posting to Argentina". The Sunday Independent. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Mandela daughter Zenani appointed Argentina ambassador". BBC News. 4 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Laing, Aislinn, "Nelson Mandela's daughter appointed South Africa ambassador to Argentina", The Telegraph, 4 July 2012.
Media related to Zenani Mandela-Dlamini at Wikimedia Commons