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Zelda La Grange

Former Private Secretary to the President Nelson Mandela

Lessons on leadership, inclusion and diversity learned by Nelson Mandela

Available For

Fee Range: II. €/$ from 5.000 up to 10.000
Languages: English

*Fee ranges are an estimation for a live keynote speech in an European venue, they can vary significantly depending on the specific requests of the clients, the type of performance, the preparation time and the travel time which is requested. Travel and accommodation costs are not included.


Zelda la Grange was born in 1970 and raised in apartheid in South Africa.
After completing school, she obtained a 3 years national diploma as Executive Secretary. She assumed her career in 1992 in National Government at the Department of State Expenditure. In May 1994 Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Zelda joined his office in October 1994. Starting as junior secretary at the Presidency she was thenk promoted in 1997 to become one of the President’s three Private Secretaries. In 1999, President Mandela could choose one person from his office to serve him in retirement and he hand-picked her.

Together with Professor Jakes Gerwel, Zelda was the only other founding staff member of the post-Presidential Office of Mr. Nelson Mandela from where the Nelson Mandela Foundation was established. She served President Mandela in various capacities until he passed in December 2013.

Zelda has been awarded by several organizations for her dedication and service to the late Nelson Mandela; most notably named a Frederik van Zly Slabbert fellow as well as a Paul Harris fellow, the highest honor to be bestowed on individuals by Rotary International. She does work for several charitable organizations and continues to contribute to social cohesion as an activist in various campaigns. In 2022 Zelda started her own Non-Profit carrying her name, assisting children in Homes of Protections and Foster Care to realize their dreams and develop to the maximum of their ability.

She has presented herself on the international speaking circuit since 2010 and continues to inspire people through sharing her life experiences. Zelda has opened several local and international conferences or presented as key-note. In 2015 she was invited to speak at the exclusive annual private weekend hosted by Jeff Bezos. In 2017 she addressed the Council of State in the Netherlands, the highest body of state Advising government and the Royal Family in the Netherlands. In 2018 her highlights on the speaking circuit including presenting at the Bill Clinton Foundation in Arkansas and delivering the5th annual Nelson Mandela lecture at the University of Gent in Belgium.

Zelda has managed her own company with great success since 1010 allowing her to continue advocating the lessons learned from President Mandela though various projects, she engages in.

In 2014 Zelda published her memoirs in the international best seller entitled “Good Morning, Mr. Mandela” Penguin 2014, in which she pays tribute to her former employer, sharing her personal experiences of personal growth and teaching the world that change is possible. The book is translated into 14 languages of which Chinese is the most recent addition. The book has also being adapted into a fil by a major American production company.



Leadership: Lessons from Nelson Mandela,

Lead like Nelson Mandela,

My journey with Nelson Mandela,

Diversity and Inclusivity



Zelda La Grange
Good Morning Mr. Mandela

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