In football, it has become almost impossible to think of Chelsea without conjuring up images of big money. These days, Chelsea has been substituted by Manchester City but its terrible twin – money, oodles of it, remains.
It is in the same way one can’t think of Hollywood and not attract concomitant thoughts of divorce. You think Havana, the capital, and cigars will almost immediately, of their own volition, get onto the train of thought. The same goes with Rwanda and genocide.
Mandela and Children!
One of the most painful episodes of incarceration on Robben Island for the anti-apartheid struggle icon must be the death of his eldest son Thembi in a motor-car accident. To add salt to the injury, he was not allowed to go bury him, an intrinsic ritual in the traditional make-up of the Thembu, a proud Xhosa people Mandela is a part of.
He would later pour all his doting father’s love into his letters to his two children Zenani and Zindzi, who he adoringly refered to as ‘My Darlings’ in his correspondence.
To make up for his 27 year absence from his children’s lives, he’d adopt every South African child – and their children- as his own after leaving prison.
It would be his mantra to remind us how as a society we’d be judged by the way we treated our own children.
They continue to hold a special place in his heart. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund stands as testimony to how Madiba thinks children should be treated – with respect.
As if to return the favour, these special people have collated their thoughts about the former President into a book – The Children’s Mandela, which is a compilation of 40 thousand answers to 25 questions posed to South African children about Madiba.
This glossy offering will contend for space in the hearts of tomorrow’s leaders with such titles as Chris van Wyk’s abridged version of Long Walk to Freedom.
But The Children’s Mandela is sure to shoot straight to the top of young people’s preferred reads as it is in their own words. And as the book authors note, this is a book that will appeal to the whole family – children and adults alike.
It is the innocence, wit and the from-the-heart honesty that makes The Children Mandela one of a kind.
You are bound to share the publisher’s view that ‘the answers will make you swell with tears and peal with laughter’.
To the question: Who is his favourite person, Jed, aged 13, writes: His favourite person should be Jesus, he saved his life.
How did he become President of South Africa?
Raymond, 8, says: “Everybody in the world voted for him.”
Everybody in the world will vote for this book.