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To mark the release of his new publication 'Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons Learnt from my Grandfather, Nelson Mandela'. Southwark Cathedral and publisher Penguin Random House are delighted to host this conversation between Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela and Chukka Umunna MP.
‘You empower yourself and then you reach out to others.’
Uplifting life lessons from one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known... through the eyes of the grandson whose life he changed forever.
In Going to the Mountain, Ndaba Mandela shares the story of his coming-of-age alongside South Africa’s rebirth. It is a remarkable journey, and one that took him from the violent, segregated Sowetto ghettos to his grandfather’s presidential home.
As a young boy, Ndaba was constantly shunted from place to place. But at eleven years old he was unexpectedly invited to live with his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, even though he had met him only once before, during a prison visit. And, slowly, they built a relationship that would affect both of them profoundly.
Ndaba's teenage years were complicated, but as he approached his twenty-first birthday, Mandela decided that Ndaba was finally ready to ‘go to the mountain’ – a test of courage during which you become a man. At the end of this gruelling ritual journey, the elders of the Mandelas’ tribe gathered and Ndaba’s grandfather was there, as ever, to share his greatest life lessons.
From Nelson Mandela, Ndaba learned the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness, the power of resistance and the beauty of reconciliation. And as Mandela grew older, Ndaba had the chance to repay his grandfather’s love and support by demonstrating the ways in which he’d understood all that he had taught him.
Intimate and inspirational, Going to the Mountain is a powerful reminder of how one person can impact profoundly on another, and a testament to the awesome power within us to change ourselves and our world.
Ndaba Mandela is the grandson of Nelson Mandela. He is the co-founder and co-chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting a positive image of Africa around the world & to increasing its potential for growth in the areas of education, employment & international corporate alliances. Ndaba has served as a spokesperson and ambassador for UNAIDS, which seeks to end discrimination around HIV/AIDS. He is also the Founder of the Mandela Project, & is part of the team behind the worldwide celebrations to mark the Nelson Mandela Centenary in 2018.
Chuka Umunna is the Labour MP for the Streatham constituency.
Born in October 1978 to a Nigerian father and English-Irish mother, Chuka grew up in Streatham and attended local schools. He studied Law at the University of Manchester and the University of Burgundy, followed by Nottingham Law School. Following his education and further training at a City law firm, he specialised as a solicitor in employment law and acted for both employees and employers for just under decade.
Chuka was selected by Streatham Labour Party to be Labour's parliamentary candidate in March 2008, following the retirement of Keith Hill MP, who had served the constituency since 1992. Chuka retained the seat for Labour at the May 2010 General Election, winning 43% of the vote and becoming Streatham's first MP to have grown up in the area. He was re-elected for a third time at the 2017 General Election with a vote share of 68.5% of the vote.
In 2011 Chuka was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. He left this role in autumn 2015.
During the European Union Referendum campaign, Chuka campaigned for Britain to remain a member of the EU and was one of the political champions of Britain Stronger IN Europe.