Nelson Mandela And Graca Machel Married 1998
February 4, 2012 by staff
Nelson Mandela And Graca Machel Married 1998, Graça Machel, DBE (born Graça Simbine; 17 October 1945) is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is the third wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel. She is an international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and in 1997 was made a British dame for her humanitarian work.
Graça Machel is also known for being the only woman in the world to have been first lady of two different countries.
Born in rural Incadine, Gaza Province, Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa), she attended Methodist mission schools before gaining a scholarship to attend University of Lisbon in Portugal, where she first became involved in independence issues. In that university, she earned a scholarship from Romance Languages. She is fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and English, as well as her native Tsonga. She returned to Mozambique in 1973, joined the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and became a schoolteacher.
Following Mozambique’s independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture. She married Samora Machel the same year. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children. Her first husband died in a plane crash over South Africa in 1986.
Graça Machel in 1984, with then husband President Samora Machel of Mozambique, and P W Botha and Pik Botha of South Africa, at the signing of the Nkomati Accord.
Machel received the 1995 Nansen Medal from the United Nations in recognition of her longstanding humanitarian work, particularly on behalf of refugee children.
In July 1998, she married South African President Nelson Mandela.
In 1998, she was one of the two winners of the North-South Prize.
Machel currently serves as the chair of the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) Eminent Advisory Board.
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