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In this new biography of Chris Barnard we not only learn about the life of South Africa’s most famous surgeon, from his Beaufort West childhood through his studies locally and abroad to his prominent marriages – and divorces – but James Styan also examines the impact of the historic heart transplant on Barnard’s personal life and South African society at large, where apartheid legislation often made the difficulties of medicine even more convoluted.
The role of black medical staff like Hamilton Naki is explored, as is the intense rivalry that arose between other famous heart surgeons and Barnard. How did Barnard manage to beat them all in this race of life and death? How much did his famous charisma have to do with it all? And in the light of his later years, his subsequent successes and considerable failures, what is Barnard’s legacy today?
Styan covers it all in this fascinating new account of a real heartbreaker that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant.
Met meer as 7 000 verhoogoptredes op sy kapstok is Pieter-Dirk Uys volksbesit. In Weerklink van ’n wanklank, sy skreeusnaakse, roerende memoires, tree die mens agter die ikoon te voorskyn.
Ons leer ken sy moeilike, musikaal-gedrewe pa, sy briljante, geheimsinnige ma, sy suster, die pianis-wonderkind, en Sannie Abader, “Pietertjie” se Kaapse Vlakte-ma.
Dan is daar sy Paarlse ouma wat hom neem om by die Verwoerds te gaan kuier, sy ander Oma en haar onverbeterlike strudel, sy vriendskap met Sophia Loren, die geboorte van Evita Bezuidenhout, en die vreugdes en hartseer van ’n merkwaardige lewe.
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 theyíd 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 societyís downtrodden, was hiding a shocking story of her own. In Beaten But Not Broken, she finally opens up about her deepest secret Ė 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 SABCís 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 doesnít 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 Govenderís story Ö 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.
Ming-Cheau Lin’s family emigrated to South Africa from Tainan, Taiwan when she was just three years old and stayed in Bloemfontein with a small East Asian community. Seen as an outsider, she struggled to understand her identity as a minority and immigrant and faced harsh realities of being ‘yellow’ in the western world in addition to the legacy of South Africa’s history.
After assimilating to the surrounding society, she is deemed ‘not Asian enough’ when she is unable to conform to the rules of first-generation Asian elders, yet too Asian for everyone else. Taiwanese or South African, teenager or rebel, creative or disappointment.. she shares her story and journeys to uncover the reasons why yellow people are treated the way they are in a space that doesn’t recognise them as part of the population
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
The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is a fable of lust, love, sex, obsession, loss, friendship, betrayal and fantasy. By turns erotic, romantic, tragic and comic, it is inspired by the real-life drama of a romantic relationship between a Zulu boy and an Englishwoman.
A series of diary entries takes us on a whirlwind tour of a relationship that has not only survived, but thrived for 17 years. As the author reflects on love across the colour line, it triggers memories of failed affairs and bizarre experiences: love spells, wet dreams, infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, a phantom pregnancy, sexless relationships, threesomes and prostitution.
A unique book for the South African market, The Love Diary of a Zulu Boy is written with an honesty rarely encountered in autobiographical writing.
When the Cradock Four's Fort Calata was murdered by agents of the apartheid state in 1985, his son Lukhanyo was only three years old. Thirty-one years later Lukhanyo, now a journalist, becomes one of the SABC Eight when he defies Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign of censorship at the public broadcaster by writing an open letter that declares: "my father didn't die for this".
Now, with his wife Abigail, Lukhanyo brings to life the father he never knew and investigates the mystery that surrounds his death despite two high-profile inquests.
Join them in a poignant and inspiring journey into the history of a remarkable family that traces the struggle against apartheid beginning with Fort's grandfather, Rivonia trialist and ANC Secretary-General Rev James Calata.
Joey Evans has always loved bikes, from his first second-hand Raleigh Strika at the age of six to the powerful off-road machines that became his passion later on in his life. His dream was one day to ride the most gruelling off-road race in the world, the 9000km Dakar Rally. In 2007 his dream was shattered when he broke his back in a racing accident. His spinal cord was crushed, leaving him paralysed from just below his chest. Doctors gave him a 10 per cent chance of ever walking again. Many would have given up and become resigned to life in a wheelchair, but not Joey Evans.
Not only would he get back on his feet and walk, but he would also keep his Dakar dream alive. It was a long and painful road to recovery, involving years of intensive rehabilitation and training, but he had the love and support of both family and friends and an incredible amount of determination. Joey shares the many challenges he and his family faced, relating the setbacks, as well as successes, along the way to the Dakar start line. But the start line was only the first goal – his sights were set on reaching the finish line, which he did in 2017 – the only South African to do so.
From Para To Dakar is so much more than the story of one man reaching the Dakar finish line. It is a story of friendship and respect, compassion and kindness. It is about defying the odds to reach a dream, it is about grit, endurance and raw courage, and it is inspiring in its true heroism.
A riveting, action-filled account that sheds light on the realities of working in a war-torn country, this is the first book on the war in Iraq by a South African.
Johan Raath and a security team were escorting American engineers to a power plant south of Baghdad when they were ambushed. He had first arrived in Iraq only two weeks before. This was a small taste of what was to come over the next 13 years while he worked there as a private military contractor (PMC). His mission? Not to wage war but to protect lives. Raath acted as a bodyguard for VIPs and, more often, engineers who were involved in construction projects to rebuild the country after the 2003 war. His physical and mental endurance was tested to the limit in his efforts to safeguard construction sites that were regularly subjected to mortar and suicide attacks. Key to his survival was his training as a Special Forces operator, or Recce.
Working in places called the Triangle of Death and driving on the ‘Hell Run’, Raath had numerous hair-raising experiences. As a trained combat medic he also helped to save people’s lives after two suicide bomb attacks on sites he then worked at.
200 women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like “What really matters to you?” and “What would you change in the world if you could?” Interviewees include US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor and human rights activist Alfre Woodard, and Nobel laureate Jodi Williams, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image — and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive travelling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality.
Local interviewees include GraÁa Machel, Caster Semenya, Zelda la Grange, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Hlubi Mboya, Sahm Venter, Joanne Fedler, Ingrid le Roux, Gillian Slovo and Zoleka Mandela, among others.
A minimum of 10% of the project’s revenue will be distributed to organisations devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Each interviewee can nominate an organisation (or themselves if they are in financial need) to receive their portion of the charitable pool or they can select the principal charitable partner, the GraÁa Machel Trust.
Vir die vroue wat hy met sy rolprentsterglimlag betower het, was Chris Barnard ’n hartebreker. Vir sy pasiŽnte ’n harteheler.
Diť nuwe biografie oor Suid-Afrika se beroemdste hartsjirurg vertel nie net van Barnard se kinderjare in Beaufort-Wes, sy prominente huwelike (en egskeidings) en flambojante lewe nie. James Styan ondersoek ook die impak van die historiese eerste hartoorplanting op Barnard se persoonlik lewe en op die Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap in die algemeen, waar apartheidswetgewing dikwels die probleme van geneeskunde nog ingewikkelder gemaak het. Die rol van swart mediese personeel soos Hamilton Naki word bespreek, sowel as die intense wedywering wat tussen ander beroemde hartsjirurge en Barnard ontstaan het.
Hoe het Barnard dit reggekry om hulle almal in diť resies om lewe en dood te wen? Hoeveel het sy welbekende sjarme daarmee te doen gehad? En wat is Barnard se nalatenskap vandag, in die lig van sy latere suksesse en aansienlike mislukkings? Styan dek dit alles in diť fassinerende nuwe blik op Chris Barnard wat uitgegee is om saam te val met die 50ste herdenking van die eerste hartoorplanting.
When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School. With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case. Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.
This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analysing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.
The Steinhoff crash wiped more than R200bn off the JSE, erased half the wealth of tycoon Christo Wiese and knocked the pension funds of millions of people.
When it was exposed as a house of cards, tales of fraudulent accounting, lavish spending and ructions in the ‘Stellenbosch mafia’ made the headlines. As regulators tally up the cost, Financial Mail editor Rob Rose reveals the real inside story behind Steinhoff. Based on interviews with key players in South Africa, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – and documents not yet public – Steinheist reveals:
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."
Rosie Motene's story is about a young girl born to the Bafokeng nation during the apartheid era in South Africa.
At the time, Rosie’s mother worked for a white Jewish family in Johannesburg who offered to raise the child as one of their own. This generous gesture by the family created many opportunities for Rosie but also a trail of sacrifices for her parents. As she grew, Rosie struggled to find her true identity.
She had access to the best of everything but as a black girl she floundered without her own culture or language. This book describes Rosie’s journey through her fog of alienation to the belated dawning of herself discovery as an African.
An inspiring story of one man’s rise from poverty and oppression to success and fame in the international world of opera...
It is a difficult undertaking for any human to escape the cycle of poverty, but to do so from one of the world’s most complex political systems, with a brutal history of segregation and deprivation, is nothing short of a miracle. Yet Musa Ngqungwana’s story doesn’t end there. Not only did he manage to extricate himself from his impoverished past, but he found his way to the great opera houses of the world, attaining immense success in an affluent art form that bears no resemblance to his upbringing or culture. Musa’s life and career are proof that any human can overcome the devastating effects of discrimination and poverty.
Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer chronicles Musa’s journey from the townships of South Africa to the world stage. It is a story of hope, showing how humans, no matter their situation, have the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them and use them to help others in need. A captivating story that will inspire anyone who has ever had a dream...
Kan dwelms, jaloesie en geld ’n normale 20-jarige daartoe dryf om byna sy hele gesin met ’n byl uit te wis?
Die Van Breda’s van Stellenbosch was skynbaar die perfekte gesin. Skatryk, suksesvol en gewild. In die luukse De Zalze-landgoed het hulle ’n droomlewe gelei.
En toe verander alles in ’n oogwink. Die land is tot stilstand geruk deur die nuus van Martin en sy vrou, Teresa, en hul 22-jarige seun Rudi se grumoorde. Die blondekop tiener, Marli, het net-net oorleef, maar kan weens ’n breinbesering niks van diť noodlottige nag onthou nie.
Mettertyd word die ander seun, Henri, wat ongeskonde is en weet wat werklik gebeur het, aangekla van die driedubbele moord.
Dan begin familie en vriende een-vir-een praat. Hulle skets ’n prentjie van ouers wat raadop was met hul moeilike “eenkantkind”. Henri se dwelmverslawing het blykbaar tot “groot onmin” in die huis gelei en hy was glo “die moer in” vir sy ouers omdat sy broer, Rudi, voorgetrek is.
Kan dit wees dat die Van Breda’s se eie kind die byl gelig het?
In A Man Apart Richard Steyn once again brings to life a South African icon. Louis Botha was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, a union he did much to create in the decade after the devastation of the Anglo-Boer War. During the war Botha was a brilliant young Boer general who through his battlefield strategy won significant victories over the British in the early stages of the war. When the weight of British arms overhelmed the Boers, Botha along with Smuts did much to encourage peace between English and Afrikaner and led the country to Union in 1910 and dominion status.
Botha was a big-hearted and generous man who showed magnanimity in his dealings with all, including former enemies. He led the South African troops to victory and the capture of German South West Africa – prior to this he had to put down a revolt of pro-German Afrikaners. At the Peace of Versailles, representing South Africa, he pleaded unsuccessfully for magnanimity towards the Germans. Botha was a globally respected figure – he and Smuts effectively operated as a double act in South Africa and on the international stage before Botha’s untimely death in August 1919 at only 57. In A Man Apart this tragically short life is illuminated in full.
A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
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.
Met hierdie unieke boek vertel NataniŽl die verhaal van ’n kindertyd in drie klein dorpies en een groot voorstad, ’n era waartydens reŽls blindelings gevolg is en oor ’n jong seun met†’n†oorweldigende vrees vir die gewone.†Kyk na my†is NataniŽl se eerste volwaardige memoir.†
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.
“Dad thinks lots of things are right-wing. He even thinks He-Man is right-wing. I ask Dad who we are and he says left-wing. Left is opposite to right. If right is bad, then we’re the opposite of that, which means we’re good.”
It’s post-independence Zimbabwe and an atmosphere of nostalgia hangs over much of Harare’s remaining white community. Hayden Eastwood grows up in a family that sets itself apart, distinguishing themselves from Rhodie-Rhodies through their politics: left is good; right is bad.
Within the family’s free and easy approach to life, Hayden and his younger brother, Dan, make a pact to never grow up, to play hide and seek and build forts forever, and to never, ever be interested in girls. But as Hayden and Dan develop as teenagers, and the chemicals of adolescence begin to stir, their childhood pact starts to unravel. And with the arrival of Sarah into their lives, the two brothers find themselves embroiled in an unspoken love triangle. While Sarah and Hayden spend increasing amounts of time together, Dan is left to deal with feelings of rejection and the burden of hidden passion alone, and the demise of a silly promise brings with it a wave of destruction.
Laced with humour, anger and sadness, Like Sodium in Water is an account of a family in crisis and an exploration of how we only abandon the lies we tell ourselves when we have no other option.
Enemy Of The People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a nation fought back.
When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections. How did we get here?
Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.
But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.
Once, chef Brett Ladds was given a cigar by Fidel Castro, he talked weightlifting with Swazi king Mswati III and his cooking made Quincy Jones sing. For many years he also served Nelson Mandela many cups of rooibos tea and made him his favourite meals.
Ladds was the executive chef of the SA government and manager of the presidential guesthouse at Bryntirion Estate in Pretoria from 1994-1999 where he served both Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. It was a naive and star-struck 21-year-old Ladds who started working at the guesthouse in the months before the first democratic election. During this time he was always in the background when struggle stalwarts like Steve Tshwete, Joe Modise and Dullah Omar met Mandela to discuss the future of the country.
This heart-warming book tells of a young man’s coming of age at a turning point in our history. His stories about meeting kings and queens, presidents, rock stars and even the pope are laced with his unique, self-deprecating sense of humour. Of Queen Elizabeth he says it felt like speaking to his gran. “I asked myself, how does all that power fit into this lovely, caring lady?” Of Robert Mugabe: “He never moaned about a thing.”
Then there are the Russian diplomats and their drinking habits and the Saudi-Arabian sheik who had 8 television sets installed in his room and bought 20 blankets at R5000 each for his stay.
It’s a book to make you laugh and cry. And Madiba’s favourite champagne? PÍche Royale . . .
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