Graca Simbine Machel, the only person in history of the universe to have been the first spouse to two different democratically elected African leaders.
Graca Machel is an African stateswoman whose decades-long professional and public life is rooted in Mozambique’s struggle for self-rule and international advocacy for women and children’s rights. She is a former freedom fighter in Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and that country’s first Minister of Education.
Machel has been chancellor of the University of Cape Town from 1999 to 2019. In 2009, Machel was appointed to the Commonwealth of Nations’ Eminent Persons Group. She was named president of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2012. In 2016, Machel was named chancellor of the African Leadership University, a role that she still holds today.
In 1986, Graça Machel became a widow when her husband Samora Machel, the first president of independent Mozambique died in a plane crash inside the border of South African. She had met Machel in 1973 when she came back to Mozambique after her education in Portugal.
She mourned her late husband for five years, which made her wear black all throughout the duration and was basically distress. Being a woman gifted with extraordinary skills, she didn’t let her husband’s death stop her from her child advocacy task.
On the 18th of July 1998, Graça and Mandela got married on his 80th birthday, making her the only woman in history to be the First Lady of two different countries. She was still an economic and political force in Mozambique.