Mandela: In Honor of an Extraordinary Life provides intimate, new, various insights and perspectives on the life and times of the late global freedom icon from his blood and flesh.
By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
There is no doubt that in the history of South Africa, Africa and even globally, the mention of the name Nelson Mandela conjures up emotions in many people’s hearts and minds. It did so when he was in jail, when he was out of jail, when he was alive, just as it continues to do when he has passed on. No wonder movies have been made and biographies have been written, and several more will be done by a generation of writers and movie producers. Mandela the former-long term prisoner and liberation struggle hero-turned President of Democratic South Africa has his name etched in many people’s imagination and consciousness, especially when it comes to the issue of social justice, freedom and certainly, his capacity to forgive his enemies irrespective of the suffering he endured under their cruelty.
Not only has that generosity of heart, foresight to see the benefit of such an act for South Africa’s healing, surprised his enemies, but also bothered his supporters who could not understand the logic for such an act. Where people expected revenge, he preached reconciliation. Where people expected hatred from him he preached love and peace. Mandela was simply an extra-ordinary human being whose qualities many a leader today pretends to emulate but found wanting.
This, explains why books continue to be produced and the mention of his name brings a smile on the faces of many, even to those that had no opportunity to meet him when he was alive.
While several books have been written about him by himself (Long Walk to Freedom) and by others, none as yet has been written by a close family member.
It is against this context that the publishing of yet another biography by none other than his eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela is much anticipated. It is a book that is expected to bring to light on the global literary landscape intimate, as yet unpublished insights on the life and times of Mandela by his flesh and blood, and therefore an important book expected to leave readers in a better position to understand the old man’s life, in a deeper and more enlightening fashion like no other book has done so far. After all the author is written by Mandela’s eldest daughter from his first wife Evelyn.
Dr Makaziwe Mandela during Nelson Mandela’s lifetime chose to lead an independent, almost distant public life from her father. But now with the publication of this book, she is expected to say a lot of things that she kept to herself during her father’s life time, for whatever reason. Makaziwe said very little about her father, other than occasionally, as compared to for example Mandela’s vocal grandchildren.
CITYLIFE/ARTS has been given some advance excepts from this book, and we will not say much about them in order not to spoil your own experience of the book when it eventually reaches these shores in October.
“Rizzoli New York and SG Distributors South Africa are pleased to announce the publication Mandela: In Honor of an Extraordinary Life by Dr. Makaziwe Mandela the eldest daughter of Nelson and Evelyn Mandela. The international launch date is the 10th of October 2023, and the South African launch is on the 5th of October. The 5th ofDecember 2023 honors the 10th anniversary of Madiba’s passing and the publication of this symbolic book is timeous.
We are planning the publicity to break in the first week of November to allow the distributors time to get the book into the retailers,” leading book retailer Exclusive Books told CITYLIFE/ARTS this week.
“A tribute to her father, Makaziwe Mandela shares the most definitive portrait of Nelson Mandela to date, revealing the man behind the anti-apartheid movement that changed the world.
One of Time magazine’s Most Important People of the Twentieth Century, Nelson Mandela continues to be a symbol of equality and justice: a Nobel Prize winner, South Africa’s first Black president, and an unrelenting leader in the movement to dismantle racial inequality. Written by his daughter, her story uncovers the family man behind the international peacemaker persona,” adds the media release sent to this publication this week.
This volume presents an extraordinary assembly of historic biography and imagery alongside never-before-published family stories and personal photographs, Nelson Mandela’s letters to friends and family, journal entries written during his incarceration, and a unique collection of rarely seen charcoal drawings and paintings he began at 83 years old. Chapters chronicle Mandela’s childhood growing up in Mvezo, his time in Johannesburg as leader of the African National Congress, the importance of his familial relationships, decades of imprisonment, and his role as president and philanthropist. An enthralling read illustrated by powerful historic imagery, this tome delves into the life of the man that continues to galvanize so many.
This book is billed as “Perfect for anyone interested in social and racial justice, inspiring life stories, and/or 20th century history, giving new insight into a towering figure and certainly one of the most revered figures in recent history. The new insights into his life and work offered by this book is expected to draw readers.
NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY
The author, daughter Dr Makaziwe Mandela, shares personal photos from important events to family gatherings.
SUBJECT MATTER IS RELEVANT
Though apartheid officially ended in South Africa, racism and segregation continues to exist around the world. In the US, more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, racism is still seen in its various forms.
#BlackLivesMatter is one of the global movements continuing the fight to eradicate white supremacy and stop the violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES
The book will feature several series of Mandela’s artwork, including the The Struggle Series—a collection of artworks demonstrating his long journey for equality.
THE FAMILY MAN
While most books on Mandela focus on his role as an anti-apartheid activist, this book also places significance on his role as a family man—husband, father, and grandfather. Both light-hearted and profound stories from family and friends paint a full picture of Mandela.
PERSPECTIVE IS UNIQUE
Unlike other books on Mandela, Dr. Makaziwe Mandela will not only offer a behind-the-scenes look into the life of her father, but she will also share what it was like to be his daughter with a special essay on the subject.
SPECIAL INSIGHT INTO HIS ICONIC STYLE
This book gives readers, both unfamiliar and familiar with Nelson Mandela’s story, a chance to learn about Mandela’s purposeful use of style as a mode of political expression. From the traditional tribal wear worn on trial to his free-flowing, colourful silk shirts as president.