The Bee is our family’s totem symbol and represents the House of Mandela. It is the literal translation of our father and grandfather’s name Rolihlahla; colloquially meaning, “One who is brave enough to challenge the status quo.” The wings represent the many branches of our family tree.
In addition to representing courage, it also represents compassion and a concern for others. Through sharing acts of kindness, it invokes numerous relationship circles with family, friends and the broader community. It has a central function in our ecosystem as the pollinator of food crops and without it our world would be changed forever.
“When our father and grandfather went to his ancestral home after his release from prison, he was followed by a swarm of bees all the way from the airport to his home. This symbolized good tidings and blessings from his ancestors as they were welcoming him home.”