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St. John’s Episcopal Hospital welcomes grandson of Nelson Mandela to Far Rockaway in celebration of Black History Month

Mar. 8, 2023 By Bill Parry

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway wrapped up its celebration of Black History Month with a very special guest, Ndaba Mandela — author, mentor, spokesperson, entrepreneur, political consultant and grandson of the late Nelson Mandela.

St. John’s was the first hospital Mandela visited during his tour of New York last month to promote his new book “Going to the Mountain,” which chronicles his life living with, and learning from, the South African anti-apartheid leader and president from 1994-1999.

Mandela’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital included an informal interview with Episcopal Health VP of External Affairs Renee Hastick-Motes, who introduced the visitor after reading his bio to the crowd assembled in the boardroom. He answered questions from the audience pertaining to his own advocacy for AIDS, mental health, youth and how they relate to his grandfather’s message.

Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, visits St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway as part of its Black History Month celebration. (Photo courtesy of SJEH)

“We have to talk to our young people so they are not afraid to fail,” Mandela said. “Young people need to be encouraged and that is why mentorship is so important. Young people need to know there is someone in their corner who loves them and wants to see them win.”

Hastick-Motes addressed the audience by reading one of her favorite quotes from his grandfather.

“Do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again,” she said.

Following a question and answer session, Mandela posed for individual and group photos with the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital staff and administrators. He was then given a tour of the hospital.

“St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is the first healthcare entity Mr. Mandela visited while in New York and we are so grateful for his shared wisdom and charisma,” Hastick-Motes said. “I am honored that the audience was offered the opportunity to receive his grandfather’s wisdom as it relates to the future of the younger generation reminding our race is not about color, it is about humanity.”

Mandela was chosen by his grandfather to be the familial heir to his legacy. He is also the founder and chairman of Africa Rising and the Mandela Project, keeping his grandfather’s legacy alive while introducing Nelson Mandela, the humanitarian, to a younger generation.

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