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Ndaba Mandela Opens Up About Testing Positive for Coronavirus

OkayAfrica joined the author, and grandson of Nelson Mandela, via IG Live to discuss his positive results and how the virus is impacting South Africans.

On Sunday, Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of South African liberation icon Nelson Mandela, confirmed that he had tested positive for coronavirus. He is one of the latest public figures to announce a positive diagnosis, as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the continent.

OkayAfrica spoke with the author and mentor via IG live from South Africa, where there are now over 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Ndaba opened up about the steps he's taken to deal with the virus, the response from the South African government and more in a conversation with OkayAfrica's CEO Abiola Oke, who joined him during the live session.


He revealed that he initially got tested, despite not showing any symptoms, after President Cyril Ramaphosa urged those who had recently travelled abroad to get tested. "I got a little bit freaked out," said Ndaba upon receiving his positive test result. He was eventually able to calm himself down and urged others who may be facing anxiety around the spread of the virus to do the same. "People need to stay calm and not panic," said Mandela. He reiterated the importance of taking necessary precautions to curb the spread of the virus, such as social distancing.

Check out a snippet of the conversation below:

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Ndaba is one of the first well-known South African figures to share a positive diagnosis and he believes that, as someone who is considered "relatable," opening up about it to the public will lead to people taking the virus more seriously. "A virus does not look at color or social demographic or how rich you are," he said. "It just moves opportunistically from one victim to the next."

Mandela, who is the author of the book Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, ended by sharing a lesson from his grandfather that he felt would help during this time of uncertainty. "He did everything in light of the rights of people that were infringed and those who lacked," said Mdaba. "For me it's about, how do we help those who are in vulnerable positions."

"Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite," he added, directly quoting his grandfather's words. "Let us find ways to support each other so we can get through this with the least amount of casualties as possible."

The full video is currently available for viewing via Mandela's IG page, catch it while it's still available.

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South African musician Zakes Bantwini wants local artists to find new ways of performing amid COVID-19 and has set his sights on hosting the country's first ever drive-in-concert.

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