The granddaughters of Nelson and Winnie Mandela star in “Being Mandela.”—FILE PHOTO
The granddaughters of Nelson and Winnie Mandela star in “Being Mandela.”—FILE PHOTO

COZI TV recently announced that “Being Mandela,” a new reality show starring Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s granddaughters, that premiered on February 10 at 9 p.m.

This 30-minute weekly show on COZI TV follows the next generation of this unique South African family through the experience of sisters Zaziwe Diamini-Manaway and Swati Diamini, giving viewers a window into their daily lives, close-knit family and personal aspirations.

“We are excited to welcome Zaziwe and Swati to the COZI TV lineup,” said Meredith McGinn, vice president of Multi-Station Local Programming for NBC Owned Television Stations. “Along with our iconic TV series and hit movies, we know that our original programming like “Being Mandela” will inspire viewers to try out COZI TV and keep them coming back for more.”

“This show is about us and our lives — both as individuals and a member of the Mandela family,” said Zaziwe Diamini-Manaway and Swati Diamini. “It offers a window on how far we have come to re-establish our lives. We are excited to share our story and hopefully viewers will be able to appreciate how universal the human story is.”

According to the network, “Being Mandela” principally features the “engaging sisterly duo” of Zaziwe and Swati, who are the daughters of Zenani Mandela Diamini, Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s daughter, and Prince Thumbumuzi Diamini, Prince of Swaziland. Both women were born in South Africa, but spent much of their youth in exile in the United States while their grandfather was imprisoned. They returned to South Africa as teenagers upon their grandfather’s release from prison in 1991.

As sisters, daughters, granddaughters, mothers and businesswomen running their own clothing line called “Long Walk to Freedom,” their personal and professional lives are on full display throughout the 13-episode season.

Highlights include their first ever visit to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. While there, the sisters see the jail cell where their grandfather lived, tour the limestone quarry where he worked, which caused him permanent eye and lung damage, and meet the former warden who remembers helping to smuggle Zaziwe into the prison as a new baby so Mandela could meet her.

While in Cape Town, the women also go shark cage diving with Great White Sharks, which leads to one frightening encounter. In addition, they venture to nearby Swaziland (one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, with a king that has multiple wives), where they are the nieces of the current king (granddaughters of the former, now deceased king) and thereby full-fledged African princesses.

One of the latest in an onslaught of networks featuring “classic programs,” COZI TV, which made its debut last month, offers vintage viewer favorites such as “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Six Million Dollar Man,” “Bionic Woman,” “Magnum PI” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

By Kimberly C. Roberts, Special to the NNPA from The Philadelphia Tribune

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