House of Mandela Wine
Monica Jones | 1/29/2016, 12:39 p.m.
The wine industry, a predominately male dominated industry with a history dating as far back as 350 years would seem intimidating to most, however Tukwini Mandela, granddaughter of former South African President Nelson Mandela, has proven otherwise by creating House of Mandela which furthers the Mandela family legacy. With wine becoming one of the most important fair trade products in South Africa, House of Mandela is helping to preserve the history of winemaking and trading for a country that continues to make its presence noticed within the wine & spirits industry. And, despite much skepticism, Tukwini has proven that her determination and entrepreneurial spirit can provide the staying power that the House of Mandela needs to thrive in the world of wines.
As the head of the brand, Tukwini has been faced with her fair share of challenges. When asked what advice she could give to aspiring female entrepreneurs she exclaimed, “Just because you have failed at one thing or something did not go quite the way you expected it to, does not mean you should give up. Those are all opportunities to learn something about yourself, improve a process or the way you do things. Resilience is the key to success and there is always a silver lining somewhere.” Tukwini aims to uphold and accomplish new strides for the family namesake with the continued development of the House of Mandela wines. The concept, which was initially introduced by a family friend, didn’t seem like a viable venture initially. Tukwini recalls, “At first we just were not interested, but when we did our research, we found that South Africa has an extensive history in the wine industry and majority of South Africa’s wine employees are black; we fell in love with the people who were so passionate about the wine industry. Wine was a great vehicle to enable us to tell our family story without politicizing it.”
The Fair Trade, named the Thembu Collection, launched in 2010 and was inspired by the values of the Thembu people who were hospitable and disposed to peace rather than war. The collection, which includes 6 varieties comprised equally of whites and reds, denotes a portion of profit from each bottle to help improve the lives of farm workers in poverty stricken communities. In addition, the House of Mandela stays true to culture by not only incorporating the influences of South Africa but also paying homage to Nelson Mandela via the craftsmanship of their bottles. Each bottle incorporates a solid gold signature emblem and features the vibrant prints similar to those that Mandela was most known for wearing.
As for what’s next for the budding businesswoman and the House of Mandela you can assure that innovation is key. To keep up with the digital age, House of Mandela will be revamping their social media campaign to boost interaction with their customer base. Tukwini's goal is to provide a home for the House of Mandela - an environment where people can fully engage with the brand through all of the five senses.