Mvezo villagers need Instagram

Mthatha - While villagers of Mvezo celebrated the news that their chief, Mandla Mandela, and his fourth wife, Rabia Clarke, are expecting a baby, there was a subtle allusion that the royal family had kept them in the dark.

This comes after the Mvezo chief and eldest grandson of former president Nelson Mandela announced the news of his wife’s pregnancy on social media early this week, posting pictures of two positive home pregnancy tests and his visibly pregnant wife.

On Thursday, Mandela – who is usually accompanied by his third wife, Mbalenhle Makhathini (Nkosikazi Nodiyala) to state of the nation addresses – walked the red carpet outside Parliament with his pregnant wife Rabia, posing for photographs and sporting beaming smiles.

But back in Mvezo, there was little known about the royal couple’s bundle of joy when City Press approached several residents for reaction.

Named Nkosikazi Nosekeni, after Madiba’s mother, villagers described Rabia as a generous person.

“The last time she was here she gave our children sanitary towels … we could not afford them. She has such a big heart,” one villager said.

“I am glad that she received such a blessing. The chief has not formally announced the news to the nation. Maybe once the child is born, he will introduce him or her at the Great Place [palace]. I am sure it would be followed by a feast,” said another woman who wished to remain anonymous.

In her bid to stop Mandela from marrying third wife Nodiyala, his estranged first wife, Thando Mabunu-Mandela, told the Mthatha High Court in 2012 that Mandela had “fertility issues, which render him incapable of producing an heir through natural conception”.

His second wife, Anais Grimaud, cheated on him with his younger brother, Mbuso, who fathered a child with the French-speaking beauty from Reunion Island. After the ensuing fallout, Grimaud returned to Reunion.