St. John’s Episcopal Hospital welcomes Nelson Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela

Ndaba Thembekile Zweliyajika Mandela speaking to workers at the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
Ndaba Thembekile Zweliyajika Mandela speaking to workers at the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
Episcopal Health Services Inc./Dominick Totino

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital wrapped up its celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 10 with a very special guest Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the late Nelson Mandela. St. John’s was the first hospital that Mandela visited on his trip to New York. His presence filled up the board room of the hospital with great excitement, and enthusiasm from the staff and executive board members.

Ndaba’s recent book “Going to the Mountain” chronicles his life living with, and learning from, one of the greatest leaders and humanitarians the world has known. Ndaba’s visit at the hospital included an informal interview with Episcopal Health Services’ VP of External Affairs, Renee Hastick-Motes who introduced Mandela after reading his bio to the crowd.

Hastick-Motes took the opportunity to ask questions about the book and his life with his grandfather. He also answered questions from the audience pertaining to his advocacy for A.I.D.S., mental health, the future of our youth and how they relate to his grandfather’s message to all people.

“We have to talk to our young people so that they are not afraid to fail. Young people need to be encouraged and that is why mentorship is so important. Young people need to know there is someone in their corner who loves them and wants to see them win,” said  Mandela.

“St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the first Healthcare entity Mr. Mandela visited while in NY and we are so grateful for his shared wisdom and charisma, I am honored the audience was offered the opportunity to receive his Grandfather’s wisdom as it relates to the future of the younger generation reminding us race is not about color, it is about humanity,” said Hastick-Motes

Hastick-Motes addressed the audience by reading one of her favorite quotes from Mandela’s grandfather, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” After the Q & A, Mandela posed for individual and group pictures with the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital staff after which he was given a grand tour of the hospital. Mandela was chosen by his grandfather to be the familial heir to his legacy. He is also the founder and chairman of Africa Rising and the Mandela Project.