The Who2 Blog

Nelson Mandela’s Names: Just How Many Does He Have?

Photo of Nelson Mandela waving in Hyde Park in 2005

You’re walking down the street in Johannesburg and you see Nelson Mandela coming the other way. Which of these greetings would not be correct?

  1. “Greetings, Mr. Mandela.”
  2. “Aah, Dalibhunga!”
  3. “Hello, Rolihlahla.”
  4. “Yo, Nelson!”

The answer is number 3. Rolihlahla was his given name at birth, but it was dropped when he was given a new name, Dalibhunga, as he reached manhood. The original name is no longer used.

Also, number 4 would be awfully cheeky.

We’ve just updated our popular report on Nelson Mandela’s name to include yet another one, the respectful clan name of Madiba

Read more about the many names of Nelson Mandela »

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