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Donna Bryson the Associated Press
Published: 29 September 2011

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Nelson Mandela's granddaughters are considering a proposal to star in a TV documentary about young African professionals and the continent's potential, one of the women told The Associated Press Thursday.

Dorothy Adjoa Amuah bristled at descriptions of the project as a reality show, at perhaps inevitable comparisons to the Kardashians, and criticism the idea exploits the Mandela name.

Amuah said producers pitched the idea to her and two other Mandela granddaughters. Amuah said Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe is her mother, but Amuah is not listed among the statesman's 17 biological grandchildren. The other two women approached for the project - Swati Dlamini and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway - are children of Mandela's daughter Zenani.

She said the three, all in their late 20s or early 30s and businesswomen, are still considering whether to go ahead with the project.

"This is supposed to be about the dynamics of Africa and how it's changing," said Amuah, 27, who was educated in the United States and Europe and recently came to South Africa to start her own business.

"This is by no means a Kardashian show," she said, referring to a family made famous - or infamous - by reality TV. Amuah acknowledged the three might not have been approached if not for their connection to Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid. His grandchildren include a grandson who is a member of parliament.

Mandela, 93, has retired from public life.

In a statement earlier Thursday, South Africa's New Vision Pictures and Out of Africa Entertainment and U.S. producer Rick Leed said the show is set to debut early next year. They said it will "highlight the next generation of this unique South African family," and give a glimpse into their daily lives and conflicts.

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