6:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Nelson Mandela's Granddaughters Starring in Cozi TV Reality Show (Exclusive)
Cozi TV, the just-launched network from the NBC Owned Stations group, is beefing up its programming slate with a new reality series starring Nelson and Winnie Mandela's granddaughters.
Being Mandela, starring sisters Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini, marks the first new original series to launch since the network was introduced. The half-hour weekly show will follow the South African pair while giving viewers an inside look at their lives, close-knit family and personal aspirations. It's set to debut Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET (with an encore airing at midnight) on Cozi TV.
Cozi TV, which replaced the NBC-owned stations' digital network Nonstop, launched Dec. 20 on the 10 stations, including WNBC New York and KNBC Los Angeles, and expanded to other affiliates Jan. 1. It's now available to nearly 38 million homes in the country's largest markets.
The network programs a mix of classic TV shows, such as Charlie’s Angels, Magnum, P.I. and The Six Million Dollar Man, along with hit movies and original fare including 1st Look, a travel show hosted by former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, and home design programs including George to the Rescue and Open House.
"We are so excited to welcome Zaziwe and Swati to the Cozi TV lineup," said Meredith McGinn, vp multi-station local programming at NBC Owned Television Stations, in announcing Being Mandela. "Along with our iconic TV series and hit movies, we know that our original programming like Being Mandela will inspire viewers to try out Cozi TV and keep them coming back for more."
Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini are the daughters of Zenani Mandela Dlamini, Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s daughter, and Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini, a prince of Swaziland. Both women were born in South Africa, but spent much of their youth in exile in the United States while their grandfather was imprisoned. They returned to South Africa as teenagers upon their grandfather’s release from prison in 1991. The duo, now mothers, run their own clothing line called Long Walk to Freedom.
The show will feature, among other things, their first visit to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, as well as their experiences shark cage diving and traveling to Swaziland, where they are full-fledged African princesses.
"This show is about us and our lives -- both as individuals and as members of the Mandela family," the sisters said in a joint statement. "It offers a window on how we far we have come to re-establish our lives. We are excited to share the story of our lives, and hopefully viewers will be able to appreciate how universal the human story is."
Being Mandela is executive produced by Jonathan Zager (Entertainment Tonight) for JZ Productions, Rick Leed (Dr. 90210) for Content Provider and Damien Brown (Running With the Reps) for New Vision Pictures.