Graça Machel

Politician from Mozambique

Graça Machel Graça Machel, DBE (born Graça Simbine; 17 October 1945) is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is the third wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel. She is an international advocate for women’s and children’s rights and in 1997 was made a British dame for her humanitarian work. Graça Machel is the only woman in the world to have been First Lady of two different countries, serving as the First Lady of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986 and the First Lady of South Africa from 1998 to 1999. Born in rural Incadine, Gaza Province, Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa), she attended Methodist mission schools before gaining a scholarship to attend University of Lisbon in Portugal, where she studied German language and first became involved in independence issues. In that university, she earned a scholarship from Romance Languages. She is also fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and English, as well as her native Tsonga. She returned to Mozambique in 1973, joined the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and became a schoolteacher. Following Mozambique's independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Graca Machel
Date of birth
Place of birth
Nelson Mandela Samora Machel
Josina Z. Machel Malengani Machel
Teacher, Politician, Humanitarian

Political career

Party From To
Mozambican Liberation Front 1973


Institution From To
University of Lisbon

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