Nelson Mandela's granddaughter criticizes Harry and Meghan for Live to Lead documentary

Ndileka Mandela said it was 'deeply upsetting' to see her grandfather's legacy being used by Meghan and Harry for their Netflix show, Live to Lead

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter criticizes Harry and Meghan for Live to Lead documentary
(Image credit: Getty)

Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter has criticized Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their Live to Lead documentary series, calling the couple's use of the late South African president's name to promote the show 'deeply upsetting and tedious.'

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter has criticized Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for using the South African president's name to promote their new Netflix show. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released Live to Lead on the US platform on December 31, just a few weeks after dropping their bombshell docuseries, Harry & Meghan. The royal couple's latest production features interviews with several influential figures, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and US feminist Gloria Steinem. 

In the introduction of the trailer for Live to Lead, Harry and Meghan quote Nelson Mandela's famous phrase, "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead", after revealing that the docuseries was inspired by the late anti-apartheid activist. 

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, has now spoken out against the Sussexes' decision to use the former leader's legacy in the docuseries. 

In an interview with the Australian, the social activist called Meghan and Harry's use of Mandela's name to promote Live to Lead 'deeply upsetting and tedious'. 


Ndileka Mandela 

(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking from Johannesburg, Ndileka said that while she admired Harry for "having the confidence to break away from an institution as iconic as the royal family", his decision to be independent has also "come at a price." 

"You then have to fund your own life," she explained. "I’ve made peace with people using granddad’s name but it’s still deeply upsetting and tedious every time it happens."

Ndileka, 57, also said that "Harry needs to be authentic and stick to his own story", before questioning the association between Nelson Mandela's legacy and the Duke of Sussex's journey. "What relevance does grandad’s life have with his?" 

Ndileka went on to reveal that she doesn't "believe he [Harry] nor Meghan have ever properly met granddad" bar "maybe when Harry was young at Buckingham Palace." 

"But they are using his quotations in the documentary to draw in people and make millions without the Mandela family benefiting," she added. 

In a speech given at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2015, Prince Harry said, "I was fortunate enough to meet Madiba a number of years ago and I have treasured that memory ever since." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.