Africa Book Club remembers Mandela for his great accomplishments, and not least, his immense contribution to African literature. Mandela loved books and he wrote about looking forward to reading African literature when he retired. In Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself, he wrote, “… a good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood and souls. It can turn tragedy into hope and victory.” And he famously referred to the late Chinua Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down”. Besides inspiring many books and movies, Mandela was an author in his own right. His memoir, Long Walk to Freedom, was an international bestseller.
A new book by Nelson Mandela was this month launched in Johannesburg, South Africa. The book titled, Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorized Book of Quotations is published by , and is a collection of quotes drawn from Mandela’s speeches, notebook entries, recorded conversations and other materials.
The book, one of many on Nelson Mandela, distinguishes itself by providing a comprehensive, albeit concise look at Mandela’s personal and political life. At 136 pages, it is very readable, and a recommended introduction to readers wanting to learn about Mandela and his struggle to free his country and people from the Apartheid regime.
South Africa’s transition from apartheid marked one of the major political stories of the 20th century. As leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela came to symbolize the struggle and sacrifices of millions of South Africans as they fought to do away with the injustices and brutality of the Apartheid regime.