Q:

Who was Nelson Mandela's first wife?

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Quick Answer

Nelson Mandela's first wife was Evelyn Ntoko Mase. Married in 1944, the couple had two sons: Madiba “Thembi” Thembekile and Makgatho Mandela. They also had two daughters, both named Makaziwe "Maki" Mandela. Their first daughter died at nine months of age, and their second daughter was named in her honor.

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Full Answer

In Mandela's autobiography, "The Long Walk to Freedom," he wrote that Evelyn was frustrated with the amount of time and energy he was devoting to the African National Congress and asked him to choose between their family and the ANC. Mandela never lost his admiration for Evelyn, but they were unable to make their marriage work.

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