Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter to South Africa’s most loved anti-apartheid icons Nelson and Winnie Mandela has never shied away from openly discussing her challenges with mental health, and loss – often sharing intimate details about her life on her social media platforms to her more than 500 000 followers or in her book, When Hope Whispers.

As a two-time cancer survivor, an author, activist, and columnist, Zoleka is set on changing perceptions by initiating honest conversations around mental health issues to promote the NESTLÉ CREMORA Joy of Inclusion #EveryonesIncluded  narrative and to normalise and encourage people to realise that inclusivity is a joint responsibility.

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Zoleka believes that through her story many people will be more aware on how negative attitudes can force people into isolation and silence.  She hopes that her story will encourage positivity while driving a bigger inclusive circle.

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“Depression, cancer, loss are all very important and difficult topics – have you found them to be quite taboo in our society and have you experienced pushback from friends and family on your willingness to address them head on?” she says.

Zoleka says she when she thinks about what she have gone through, what sticks out the most is how lonely it has been, even as someone coming from a very large family.

“I wanted to remind people that they shouldn’t feel alone. There is someone out there going through exactly what ‘you’ are going through. I was only diagnosed with depression in 2010, shortly after my daughter’s death,” she says.

“But, with my current understanding of depression, I realised that I had been living with depression for a very long time – very well into my teenage years. I want to be a beacon of hope for people on my social media pages and share my cautionary tales.”

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