Zoleka Mandela (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo)
They have been married for six years and it seemed their fairytale marriage would never end.
Yet Zoleka recently announced her separation on Instagram from husband Thierry Bashala, saying it's taken her two years to leave a relationship that "no longer serves" her.
"Leaving someone you once loved, for eight long years feels like it completely unhinges your entire life until you realize that it's sparked self-discovery, inner peace and has set you on a path of self-love. It’s taken me two years to leave a relationship that no longer serves me, one that has eroded (for far too many years) my self-esteem, independence, my mental and emotional state, [sic]" she wrote.
Zoleka once shared on social media how they met at a clothing store when Thierry followed her around pretending to be trying on jeans.
Now the fairytale is all over.
"Over the years, I've continued to fall in habit and have tied my sense of worth to things outside of me and placed it in the hands of others. Leaving someone you once loved, reaffirms your strengths, it leaves you feeling more liberated and forces you to look into yourself and to move on even when you’re more comfortable staying in a relationship that (for the worst part) leaves you feeling invisible and undervalued ... because you have a fear of abandonment and a fear of being alone, [sic]" she continued.
Zoleka says she is leaving her marriage "to live a life that is more true to me, to shift the power back from the relationship I have long left, back to me". She goes on to says: "I have left someone that I once loved for eight whole years, because I need to learn to be alone, to work on myself harder than any other relationship, to recognize and accept my weaknesses, to forgive myself and to finally celebrate my FREEDOM. [sic]”
The two married in 2014 and Zoleka has five children, two with her estranged husband.