‘I Failed Her As A Mother,’ Zoleka Mandela On Her Daughter Who Passed At 13! The 37 year old author and activist took to Instagram pouring her heart on what could have been her daughter’s 20th birthday.

“I gave birth to my best friend in 1997 at the age of 17, she was more of a mother to my son (Zwelami) than I ever was,” Zoleka heartbreakingly wrote. She went on to share how she missed her daughter’s last birthday two days before she was killed by a drunk driver because she was hospitalized.

Zoleka recalls being suicidal days before the tragic accident. “Today and everyday is a painful reminder of how I failed her as a mother for the 13yrs she was alive; how no matter how many times I was the cause of her tears, she always loved me more than I can ever love myself,” she wrote.

Zoleka also believes that her daughter’s death helped with her drug addiction which could’ve led to her own death leaving her son motherless.

“Thank you, Zeni for making me the mother I am today! ❤️ Happy birthday in Heaven, baby! Lala ngoxolo, mntanam’.”