Zelda la Grange

Former Private Secretary to South African President Nelson Mandela & Bestselling Author of 'Good Morning, Mr Mandela'

  • Founding staff member of Mr. Nelson Mandela’s post-Presidential Office
  • Frederik van Zyl Slabbert and Paul Harris Fellowships
  • Founder of the Zelda la Grange Foundation
  • Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
  • Co-produced “A Glorious Human Achievement”, an award-winning 6-part documentary

Discover Zelda la Grange’s biography of published work below.

Good Morning, Mr Mandela Book Cover
Good Morning, Mr Mandela

When Zelda la Grange is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Diversity & Inclusion
Powerful Partnership
Nelson Mandela

Zelda la Grange, known for her role as Nelson Mandela’s former private secretary, has become a celebrated best-selling author and speaker, captivating audiences across the globe with her profound experiences and insights. Her keynote speeches are designed to inspire and motivate, drawing on her rich life experiences and the invaluable time she spent with President Nelson Mandela. Zelda’s impressive career, combined with her compelling storytelling and genuine passion for her topics, has established her as a highly esteemed and in-demand speaker on diversity and inclusion.

Born and raised in South Africa, Zelda pursued a three-year National Diploma in Executive Secretarial studies. She commenced her career at the Department of State Expenditure, working diligently as an Assistant Private Secretary. Her dedication and exceptional abilities led to her promotion to one of President Mandela’s three Private Secretaries. Upon Mandela’s retirement, he specifically chose Zelda to remain by his side, making her one of the two original staff members of his post-Presidential Office, alongside Professor Jakes Gerwel. This office later gave rise to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Zelda continued to serve President Mandela in various capacities until his passing in December 2013.

Following Mandela’s death, Zelda has been honoured by numerous organisations for her steadfast dedication to his legacy, receiving accolades such as the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert and Paul Harris Fellowships. Her commitment extends to charitable work, including the founding of a non-profit organisation supporting children in protection and foster care. Zelda is also a board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, which advocates for democracy and non-racialism. Her international speaking engagements include notable platforms such as Campfire 2015 hosted by Jeff Bezos, the Council of State in the Netherlands, and the Bill Clinton Foundation. Her memoir, ‘Good Morning, Mr. Mandela,’ became an international bestseller and is currently being adapted into a film. Zelda has also co-hosted a national TV talk show and co-produced an award-winning documentary on Mandela.

Today, Zelda continues to travel the world, sharing her unique stories and insights to inspire others to lead with compassion and understanding. As a passionate advocate for racial equality, diversity, inclusion, and non-violence, Zelda la Grange is an excellent choice for corporate and other events. Her unique experiences and heartfelt message make her a highly sought-after speaker who leaves a lasting impact on her audience.

Official Testimonials

Zelda la Grange is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“Her talk conveyed the importance of ethical leadership in practical ways as demonstrated by Nelson Mandela throughout his life. Business leadership can learn a great deal from the lessons he taught Ms La Grange and find relevance to apply these lessons in their daily private and personal lives. Her talk was entertaining and she managed to capture her audience as she reminisced by sharing anecdotes from her time with him.”

Jonathan, Customer Director, Pick 'n Pay Retailers

“It was insightful and informative presentation. It also challenged us to look at how we treat others and ourselves. Her delivery was sincere, compassionate and encourage people to open-up and work together.”

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

“I like Zelda’s honesty and how she related her experiences to our role as social workers. Very educative and thought provoking.”

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

“I thought the presentation was so interesting and pertinent that I ordered the speaker’s book. It’s valuable to learn how others have overcome racism. I really appreciated her honesty and vulnerability in providing us with her process in addressing her racism – its origin and her choices along her journey”

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

“She was phenomenal. She spoke to so many issues that are relevant in the work we do and was so personable. Great choice.”

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

“It gives me great pleasure to recommend Ms Zelda La Grange as an author and public speaker. In addition to enjoying her book, I have had the opportunity to engage Ms La Grange on 3 occasions; twice through events that I have chaired as part of my membership of the Young President’s Organisation (YPO) and once with The International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in my capacity as President of the Alumni Club of South Africa. In both instances, an international audience was present with business leaders and their spouses as well as family members, in the case of the YPO. The story told by Ms La Grange, makes for compelling listening – interspersed with anecdotes from Nelson Mandela and her learnings working alongside the most iconic statesman and leader of the 20th Century. At each event the audience was drawn into the stories and happenings conveyed by Ms La Grange and the moral lessons that are so compelling for us all. In addition, our participants were delighted to receive signed copies of Ms La Grange’s book and the opportunity of a photograph with out acknowledged speaker. Ms La Grange could not have been more accommodating – I have no reservation in recommending her most highly.”

To enquire about Zelda la Grange for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via agent@diversity-inclusion-speakers.com or call a booking agent on 0203 9816 297.