Zoleka Mandela has shared details about her painful childhood

The activist and two-time breast cancer survivor says she was physically abused from the age of four and sexually abused from the age of nine. 

The abuse ended when she was 14 but she only told her family about it when she was 21. 

Zoleka, who is the granddaughter of Winnie and Nelson Mandela, says she only opened up about her ordeal when she was an adult because she didn’t know who she could ask for help.

“I didn’t know that having so many women and men abuse me physically and sexually – was not my fault.

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Zoleka publicly spoke about the abuse she suffered in her 2013 autobiography, When Hope Whispers

The 39-year-old is planning to write a second book but has put the project on hold.

“My therapist (whose read my manuscript) feels that I still need to work through it all and I agree with her because I have never actually worked through any of it – not the self-blame, the abuse, the guilt, the loss of my kids, the shame, the sex addiction, the anger.” 

Zoleka added that “never in a million years” did she think she would ever write an autobiography, let alone a second book.

She wrote When Hope Winters in between chemotherapy sessions. 

“I never intended to share my personal journey with the tragic loss of my two children, nor my addiction to cocaine for 10yrs and alcohol for 17yrs – until @thabisobonita changed my mind and entire life!!! Here I am at 39, never thinking I would ever amount to anything in life or ever live to see 30, using my life as a cautionary tale.” 

 

 

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I never in a million years, thought that I would ever author my very own autobiography! I wrote When Hope Whispers in between my Chemotherapy treatments and within 5 months of writing, it was published. I never intended to share my personal journey with the tragic loss of my two children, nor my addiction to cocaine for 10yrs and alcohol for 17yrs – until @thabisobonita changed my mind and entire life!!! Here I am at 39, never thinking I would ever amount to anything in life or ever live to see 30, using my life as a cautionary tale. I was sexually abused from the age of 9 up until I was 14 and physically abused from the age of 4 to 14, and only told my family at the age of 21 because I didn’t know I could ask for help, I didn’t know that having so many women and men abuse me physically and sexually – was not my fault. I’ve had to put my second book on hold, my therapist (whose read my manuscript) feels that I still need to work through it all and I agree with her because I have never actually worked through any of it – not the self blame, the abuse, the guilt, the loss of my kids, the shame, the sex addiction, the anger … Thanking you all, for choosing When Hope Whispers out of the plethora of books worthy of reading! I actually have a voice and my life is no novelty, it’s a reminder that we all have a voice and life stories worthy of sharing too! #WhenHopeWhispers #ZolekaMandela #NeverTooLateToRewriteYourLifeStory

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