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Everywhere she looked, the world was in poor shape. And because she’d quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?
In recent times, the self-help industry has exploded into a multi- billion dollar global industry – and along with it has come every imaginable type of therapy, healing or general woo-woo. In the past, Rebecca scoffed at this industry, mocking its reliance on half-baked science and the way it appears to prey on the mentally fragile.
But as she searched for a meaning of life that did not involve booze, she found it increasingly hard to rationalize her default scepticism. This shit really seems to work for some people, she reasoned. And it’s not like I have any particularly solid alternatives.
Rebecca lives in Cape Town, the undisputed epicentre of ‘alternative’ paths to peace and enlightenment in South Africa. She decided that over the course of a year, she would embark on a quest for personal wellness, spiritual enlightenment and good old-fashioned happiness. She was willing, within reason, to try anything. She would open herself to even the most outlandish contemporary fads in self- improvement.
What followed was a twelve-month immersion in the world of auras, chakras, hallucinogenic drugs, sweat lodges, sangomas, past lives and more.
And by the end of it? Maybe she would find some new ways of thinking and living. Or maybe she would emerge with her prejudices untouched.
Either way, it would be a good story.
In 1980’s apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how she’s going to turn her tar baby doll’s skin into sweet, soft lily-white. What she has learnt is that Whites are better than "everyone else". She doesn’t know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret. She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying.
As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community.
In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble – and now firmly planted in a 'White School', Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ‘Coloured identity crisis’. She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills. On her return to South Africa she embraces the “free love” Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.
This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-woman’s deep need and reckless pursuit for love. When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
Ton Vosloo’s remarkable career in the media spanned nearly 60 years in South Africa’s history. During this turbulent time, South Africa went through the transition from Afrikaner Nationalist rule to an ANC government. At the helm of the leading press group founded in 1913 to support nascent Afrikaner nationalism, Vosloo’s story is not just one of newspapers and politics but also one of singular business and commercial success as the Naspers Group evolved from a print group to an electronic company with significant investments across the world.
In 1983 Vosloo was appointed managing director of Naspers and set about vigorously transforming the group. On the ideological front, it was a fight to the death with the old Transvaal’s predominantly right-wing Perskor Group for the soul of the Afrikaner. On the commercial front, Vosloo established the pay television network M-Net. In 1992, Vosloo became chairman of Naspers with Koos Bekker succeeding him as CEO. The story of Naspers’ successes in investing in Chinese internet company Tencent and in establishing a footprint in 130 countries is a continuing one, but one begun under Vosloo’s stewardship.
In Across Boundaries, Vosloo gives his account of these momentous times with wry humour and a journalist’s deft pen.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN AFRIKAANS AS OOR GRENSE
In April 1981, Landa Mabenge enters this world, trapped in a girl’s body. From an early age, Landa is aware that he does not relate to his female form, despite being socialised as a girl. In this groundbreaking and brutally honest memoir, Landa Mabenge establishes himself as a resounding and inspirational voice for anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms. In mesmerising detail, Becoming Him lays bare Landa’s tortured world, growing up trapped in the wrong body, while unflinchingly tracing his transition from female to male.
His childhood in Umtata is brutally shattered, when at age 11 an angry woman and her zombie-like husband unexpectedly arrive to force him to accompany them to Port Elizabeth. Life in PE with ‘The Parents’ soon morphs into a Dickensian nightmare. Landa is subjected to horrific physical, emotional and psychological abuse as he descends into a world of isolation and shame. He recalls his prison of powerlessness: “I count the years I will have to remain a slave. There are seven before my redemption: 7 x 365 = 2555 days. Today is nearly at an end. By the end of tomorrow there will be 2554. By the end of the week, 2548. And so I will myself on. Eventually the day will come when I will be free.”
At 18 Landa is finally able to escape PE to study at UCT, where he tries to embrace life as a butch lesbian, but he remains tortured by his female body. After a close-to-death break down, Landa finally finds strength to embark on an arduous four-year-long journey to physically and legally become “him”, relentlessly researching what it will entail to embark on gender alignment. In 2014, Landa makes history by becoming the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid to pay for his surgeries through the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic.
Both heartbreaking and uplifting, Becoming Him is a unique story of torture and triumph, bravely opening the lid on cultural shame and abuse against those who choose a path less travelled.
Die motiewe agter gesinsmoorde is dikwels vreemder as fiksie. Tergende vrae kan deur psigiaters beantwoord word ... of dalk nie. Deur na verskeie gevalle van gesinsmoord te kyk gooi hierdie boek ’n bietjie lig in 'n baie donker plek. Met onder meer die stories van die Lotters wat gebreinspoel was tot moord op hul ouers en die Van Breda bylmoorde.
Coach: The Life And Soccer Times Of Clive Barker is the insightful biography of Clive Barker, South Africa’s longest-serving national football coach and arguably the most successful following Bafana Bafana’s win in 1996 at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. With the help of writer Michael Marnewick, Barker reveals himself as a modest man, a dedicated husband and father, and a force to be reckoned with in the football fraternity, both in Mzansi and in the rest of the continent.
Coach examines Barker’s life from his pre-coaching days and how he avoided bankruptcy by driving taxis, to his early coaching jobs at amateur level, into the professional ranks with Durban City, then Bush Bucks, to AmaZulu and ultimately to the position as national coach. Delving back into his early pre-coaching days, the book gives the reader a glimpse of the man himself, while anecdotes from former players, at both club and international level, provide an in-depth but entertaining look into his coaching style and ability. In-between the book explores the politics of the time, including Clive’s opposition to apartheid; his take on witchcraft practices in local football; the success at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations; and the positive and powerful influence of Nelson Mandela, the national football team’s talisman.
Barker’s journey wasn’t always smooth sailing and he had his detractors who felt he was too chummy with his players, who felt he was not technically savvy or tactical enough, or who disagreed with his relaxed but focused methods, which were proven over and again to yield results. What comes across so clearly in this book is the love and respect Barker had for his players and that they, in turn, had for him. He treated them as adults and they never faltered in their desire to please him, although Mark Fish may have crossed the line a few times.
Few people have courted as much controversy or evoked such strong and divergent emotions as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Adored by some, abhorred by others, she bears a name famous throughout the world, yet not many people know the woman behind the headlines, myths and controversies, or the details of the fascinating story that is her life. This biography reveals the enigma that is Winnie Mandela, by exploring both her personal and political life.
The reader is given a rare glimpse into Winnie's strict yet happy rural upbringing, where the foundations were laid for her faith, compassion and indomitable resolve. As a young social worker in 1950s Johannesburg, her beauty, style and character captivated the political activist and Tembu prince, Nelson Mandela. Together, they personified the rising aspirations and political awakening of their people, and, in so doing, inspired a nation. Through her fierce determination and dauntless courage, she survived her husband's imprisonment, continuous harassment by the security police, banishment to a small Free State town, betrayal by friends and allies, and more than a year in solitary confinement – all the while keeping the struggle flame alight and the name of Nelson Mandela alive.
A sensitive and balanced portrayal, the title nevertheless thoroughly investigates and honestly examines the controversies that have dogged Winnie Mandela in recent years - the allegations of kidnapping and murder, her divorce from Mandela, and the current charges of fraud.
The first ever memoirs from the Number One global bestselling adventure author.
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction. From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction.
Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.
Arrested in 1962 as South Africa’s apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, Mandela wrote hundreds of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and most memorably to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children.
Now, 255 of these letters, a majority of which were previously unseen, provide the most intimate portrait of Mandela since Long Walk to Freedom. Whether writing about the death of his son Thembi after a request to attend the funeral was ignored, providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife, or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters Of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary human punishment.
Ultimately, they position Mandela, along with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., among the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century.
The Game Ranger, The Knife, The Lion And The Sheep offers spell-binding stories of some amazing, little known characters from South Africa, past and very past. Let us introduce you to some of the characters you’ll meet inside.
Starting with Krotoa, the Khoi maiden who is found working in the Van Riebeeck household as both servant and interpreter. In time she becomes the concubine of Danish surgeon Pieter Merhoff and later his wife. But did she jump (allured by the European glitz and good food) or was she pushed (abducted or sold to the Van Riebeeck’s by her uncle Atshumatso, otherwise Herry)? Was she raped or a willing sexual parter of Meerhoff? Women, like fresh meat and vegetables, were in short supply in those early colonial years in the Cape.
Then there is Mevrou Maria Mouton who preferred to socialise with the slaves than her husband on their farm in the Swartland, and with whom she conspired to murder him. What became of them is … best those gory details are glossed over for now.
And the giant Trekboer Coenraad de Buys, rebel, renegade, a man with a price on his head who married many women (none of them white) and fathered a small nation. The explorer Lichtenstein called him a modern-day Hercules. Then there are the men of learning and insight, such as Raymond Dart and Adrian Boshier, who opened up the world of myths and ancient artefacts so we now better understand the ancients and the world they created for us to inherit. Or James Kitching who broke open rocks in the Karoo to reveal creatures that inhabited this region long before even Africa was born.
And so, without further ado, we give you our selection of stories about remarkable characters from the veld. These stories will excite, entertain and enthral you! You will finish reading them wishing you had more!
Duduza. Bopha. Imbiza. Phapha. Asixoliseni. Amapopeye . . . What is the power of a single word?
Six days a week, advertising creative Melusi Tshabalala posts a Zulu word on his Everyday Zulu Facebook page and tells a story about it. His off-beat sense of humour, razor-sharp social observations and frank political commentary not only teaches his followers isiZulu but also offer insight into the world Melusi inhabits as a 21st century Zulu man.
Over the past few months he has built up a big and a loyal following that include radio host Jenny Crwys-Williams and Afrikaans author Marita van der Vyfer. He pokes fun at our differences and makes us laugh at ourselves and each other.
Melusi asks critical questions of everyone, from Aunty Helen, Dudu-Zille to Silili (Cyril Ramaphosa) and even Woolworths (why are their aircons always set on ‘jou moer’?). His fans love him for his honesty and commitment to pointing out subtle and overt forms of prejudice and racism.
Melusi’s Everyday Zulu holds up a mirror that shows South African society in all its flaws and its sheer humanity. Most importantly, he shows the power of words and that there’s umzulu in all of us!
At the height of her journalism career, more than one million households across the country knew her name and her face. Her reportage on human suffering and triumph captivated viewers, and with it Vanessa Govender shot to fame as one of the first female Indian television news reporters in South Africa. Always chasing the human angle of any news story, Govender made a name for herself by highlighting stories that included the grief of a mother clutching a packet filled with the fragments of the broken bones of her children after they’d been hacked to death by their own father, and another story where she celebrated the feisty spirit of a little girl who was dying of old age, while holding onto dreams that would never be realised. Yet Govender, a champion for society’s downtrodden, was hiding a shocking story of her own. In Beaten But Not Broken, she finally opens up about her deepest secret – one that so nearly ended her career in broadcast journalism before it had barely kicked off.
She was a rookie reporter at the SABC in 1999. He was a popular radio disc jockey, the darling of the SABC’s Lotus FM, a radio station catering to nearly half a million Indian people across South Africa. They were the perfect pair, or so it seemed. And if anyone suspected the nature of the abusive relationship, Govender says, she doesn’t believe they knew the full extent of the horror that the popular DJ was inflicting on this intrepid journalist. The bruising punches, the cracking slaps, and the relentless episodes filled with beatings, kicking and strangling were as ferocious as the emotional and verbal abuse he hurled at her. No one would know the brutal and graphic details of Govender’s story … until now.
In Beaten But Not Broken, this Indian woman does the unthinkable, maybe even the unforgiveable, in breaking the ranks of a close-knit conservative community to speak out about her five-year-long hell in this abusive relationship. Her story also lays bare her heart-breaking experiences as a victim of childhood bullying and being ostracised by some in her community for being a dark-skinned Indian girl. Govender tells a graphic story of extreme abuse, living with the pain, and ultimately of how she was saved by her own relentless fighting spirit to find purpose and love. This is a story of possibilities and hope; it is a story of a true survivor.
Iman Rappetti is an award-winning journalist who has been involved in print, radio and television. She worked as a young journalist in South Africa and then abandoned it (along with all her worldly possessions) when she became Muslim. She lived in the Islamic Republic of Iran for two years, where she also worked on a current affairs TV show for the state broadcaster before returning to South Africa and resuming her life here.
She describes herself as `the youngest of five children. One Rasatafarian brother (passed away), one ex-con brother (who can dance the pants off any woman and has a wicked sense of humour), another brother who's a big shot in the marine engineering industry (he makes a mean curry), and a sister who has the thankless task of staying at home and raising the rugrats (she has a way with words, and also makes a kick-ass briyani)'.
In this moving and entertaining memoir, Iman shares stories and what she has learned from her colourful journey through life.
The healing power of life writing, one shared story at a time
This Is How It Is a “refreshing, poignant and wide-ranging” (Helen Moffett) collection of real life experiences: 52 stories, prose and poetry, that tell of a man who is anxious about an HIV test; a child with an alarming nose for gossip and a girl who is saved by the enemy in a war zone. Some of the writers are grieving the loss of a child or struggling with addiction, abuse, bullying or betrayal. Most of these writers have never been published before. They wrote these stories primarily to bear witness to their lives and the troubled times in which we live. Putting traumatic experiences down on paper can help people work through shame, guilt and fear, releasing them from the traps they lay. Writing is sometimes able to turn a painful incident into something more manageable, even beautiful.
Sharing stories can also heal both the writer and the reader. When we first meet a stranger, we make assumptions about them. When we hear of their life in their own words, we find that many of our negative assumptions are wrong. Often we discover that we are more alike than we are different. Our magnificent world is in trouble, much of it because we are not paying attention to what is right in front of us. When the facts don’t stir us to reconsider, story can. This anthology invites us to become curious and reflective rather than fearful and defensive. It encourages us to climb down from the ladder of hierarchy and competition and to join the circle of relationship and humanity by becoming vulnerable enough to share and listen to our own and each other’s half-hidden stories.
But equally importantly, Bongani Kona, 2016 Caine Prize finalist, reminds us: “We forget that the most daring thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be seen. To stand before the world and to say this is who I am. This is how it is.”
About THE LIFE RIGHTING COLLECTIVE: The Life Righting Collective (LRC) runs courses for anyone who wants to learn to write about their experiences. The approach promotes self-discovery, self-recovery and more effective communication. It raises funds to make courses available to those in need of sponsorship and to provide platforms for these life stories to be published. Sharing experiences with a wide readership can help reduce discrimination and promote mutual understanding. Visit the website: www.liferighting.com
Albertina Sisulu is revered by South Africans as the true mother of the nation. A survivor of the golden age of the African National Congress, whose life with the second most important figure in the ANC exemplified the underpinning role of women in the struggle against apartheid.
In 1944 she was the sole woman at the inaugural meeting of the radical offshoot of the ANC, the Youth League, with Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Anton Lembede in the vanguard. Her final years were spent in an unpretentious house in the former white Johannesburg suburb of Linden. A friend said of her, "she treated everybody alike. But her main concern was the welfare of our women and children." This abridged account of Sisulu’s overflowing life provides a fresh understanding of an iconic figure of South African history.
This new abridged memoir is written by Sindiwe Magona, one of South Africa’s most prolific authors, and Elinor Sisulu, writer, activist and daughter-in-law of Albertina.
Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. That certainly is the case when considering the things that happen to Khaya Dlanga in the course of his everyday life. Khaya often shares these stories in brief via Instagram or his other social media platforms. He is finally succumbing to the pressure from the many people who read his posts and want more details, and is telling all of these stories and more in These Things Really Do Happen To Me.
Always entertaining, and often containing astute observations regarding various social practices and situations, Khaya tells wide-ranging stories – his lunch with William Shatner; how he fell asleep next to President Thabo Mbeki; how he got hit on by a deaf girl; how his dreadlocks didn’t get the expected reaction from his mom; the greatest pick-up line ever used on him; awkward encounters with exes; what happens when you parallel park in Parkhurst; and what he has learnt in the course of his eventful life – that are guaranteed to entertain and enlighten readers.
Most of the time, the road to riches is a closely guarded secret, until now. Jacana Media presents Mpho Dagada, one such young, self-made millionaire who in his memoir, Mr Bitcoin, shares his story of triumph and failure. He tells his story from the beginning: being brought up by business-minded and accomplished grandparents who planted in him the seeds of what it means to be successful in business.
Mpho Dagada’s interest in Bitcoin was ignited when he was in his first year at the University of Johannesburg in 2013 after opening his own laundry and cleaning service company. He invested his profits from this company in Bitcoin. He currently owns a logistics company, a chain of fast food restaurants and is in the process of developing the first black-owned cryptocurrency exchange platform.
This book is both motivational and practical, examining the errors and pitfalls that Dagada had to go through in his business pursuits. These included falling for Ponzi schemes like Kipi and losing his money on more than one occasion. Through these many lows were lessons of great value which ultimately led to the endless possibilities that Bitcoin presents for those interested in creating wealth through trading cryptocurrencies and running a successful business.
Dagada is confident in the viability of Bitcoin and ascertains that "we will never understand the money of the future without learning how money came about in the first place. Blockchain and Bitcoin are now pioneering a new online financial world. Cryptocurrencies will replace fiat money in the end, as they are faster, better and more convenient than all the earlier forms of currency."
Global business icon Richard Branson has written many books, but none have been more popular than his first memoir, 1998’s Losing My Virginity. Now he’s finally publishing his second volume of memoirs, covering all of his fascinating ups and downs of the past two decades.
In the two decades since Richard Branson wrote Losing My Virginity, his life and company have changed significantly. Now he brings his life story up to date, including all the successes and failures. He also shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur, and his shift to focusing more and more on public service. See how Branson created hundreds of different companies, going from a houseboat to his own private island. Join him as he juggles working life with raising his children, sustaining his marriage, and creating a unique company culture. Discover how he created a new life on Necker Island, while continuing to grow the Virgin brand into all corners of the world. Get the real story behind his encounters with everyone from Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch to Nelson Mandela and Beyoncé.
Go behind the scenes as Sir Richard Branson creates the world’s first commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic, and handles the biggest crisis he has ever faced. Get under the skin of world record attempts on land, sea and air, and see how the original business hippy adapted to becoming a doting ‘grand-dude’ to his three grandchildren, Eva-Deia, Etta and Artie. This is the true account of how the Virgin Founder reinvented himself and his brand for the 21st C entury, while continuing to push boundaries, break rules and reach for the stars in more ways than one. This is the story of the man behind the beard, the business, the bravado and the brand. Find out how the ultimate entrepreneur did it for the first time - all over again.
In her much anticipated memoir, Sisonke Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s. She reflects candidly on her discontent and disappointment with present-day South Africa but also on her experiences of family, romance, and motherhood, with the novelist’s talent for character and pathos.
Militant young comrades dance off the pages of the 1970s Lusaka she invokes, and the heady and naive days of just-democratic South Africa in the 1990s are as vividly painted. Her memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age, and while well-known South African political figures appear in these pages, it is an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.
Sisonke Msimang is one of the most assured and celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly – and this book launches her to an even broader audience.
Accessible and engaging short stories about Nelson Mandela, to celebrate 100 years since his birth.
How do you retell the well-worn life story of a national icon? One way is this: a palimpsest of a hundred memories of the great man, revolutionary, world leader, and family figure, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Kate Sidley offers renewed and touching insight into Mandela by retelling humorous, heart-warming and momentous moments from his life, roughly chronologically, drawing from his own writing and the memories of contemporaries, historians and ordinary people. The reading experience is multi-varied and complex, touching and inspiring, like Madiba himself.
100 Mandela Moments is divided into sections, according to the many roles Mandela played in his lifetime: the school boy, the student, the lawyer, the outlaw, the prisoner, the negotiator, the statesman, the elder. Each story or “moment” is short and encapsulates something about the man behind the legend, and the book can be read cover to cover or dipped into.
65 Years Of Friendship tells the heartrending story of a remarkable friendship between two remarkable men: world-renowned human-rights lawyer George Bizos, and Nelson Mandela.
George and Madiba met as students at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1948. They would later become legal colleagues, and Mandela would become George Bizos’ most famous client soon after, for it was Bizos who formed part of his legal defence during the famous Treason Trial, and again during the Rivonia Trial, when Mandela and others faced the death penalty for plotting to overthrow the state. After seeing his friend sentenced to life imprisonment instead, Bizos became Mandela’s lifeline, navigating the complicated network of the Struggle.
Working tirelessly, be it by secretly meeting Oliver Tambo in exile or arguing for the abolishment of the death penalty in the Constitutional Court years later, Bizos offered his unwavering support to Mandela on his long walk towards a democratic South Africa. In this touching homage to their friendship, George Bizos tells a fascinating tale of two men whose work affected the lives of all South Africans.
Van laaitie tot politieke kryger, bandiet tot generaal-majoor, ondergrondse operateur tot presidensiële lyfwag…
Van sy kleintyd in Elsiesrivier neem Jeremy Vearey se lewe talle onvoorspelbare wendings. Sy eiesoortige vertelling sluit die ouere manne van sy jeug in, die ooms by die damstafel, kerkjeugkampe en die Kommuniste-manifes, skoolhou en ondergrondse werk vir MK, en sy aanhouding op Robbeneiland. As Mandela se lyfwag help hy ’n opstand in die Karoo ontlont, voor hy deel word van die nuwe SAPD, waar hy saam met die gewese vyand terrorisme en Kaapse bendes takel.
En onder alles loop ’n donker stroom.
On 2 February 1959, a musical about the life and times of heavyweight boxing star Ezekiel Dhlamini (known as 'King Kong') opened in Johannesburg to a packed audience that included Nelson Mandela. King Kong was not just South Africa's first ever musical, but one that grew out of a collaboration between black people and white, and showcased an all-black cast.
It was an instant hit, bursting through the barriers of apartheid and eventually playing to 200,000 South Africans of every colour before transferring to London's West End. Pat Williams, the show's lyricist, was at the time an apolitical young woman trying to free herself from the controls and prejudices of the genteel white society in which she lived. Here she recounts her experience of growing up in a divided South Africa, her involvement in the musical, and its lasting impact both on herself and on the show's cast, many of whom went on to find international fame, like South African jazz legends Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. Her memoir takes the story up to the present day.
It is both a vivid evocation of a troubled time and place as well as a celebration of a joyous production, in which a group of young people came together in South Africa's dark times - to create a show which still lives on today.
I Remember Nelson Mandela is a collection of remembrances from those who worked with, for and beside Mandela. More than one hundred individuals, from household staff to bodyguards and presidential advisors, have offered their memories, which provide warm, poignant and often humorous insights into what it was like behind the scenes with one of the most revered and beloved political figures the world has seen.
‘Nothing is more important than to be loved by your colleagues.’ – Nelson Mandela, 5 August 2008, addressing the staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation at a private celebration for his 90th birthday
The collection is the dream-child of Mrs Graça Machel who, some months after Nelson Mandela’s passing on 5 December 2013, met with former members of his staff to thank them for their service. Listening to their stories inspired the creation of this, the perfect gift book, providing readers with a glimpse into the man behind the title.
'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
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