By Mark Gevisser
During this gripping social heritage of South Africa, award successful journalist Mark Gevisser follows the relatives of former South African President Thabo Mbeki to make experience of the legacy of liberation fight and understand the future of the rustic less than Jacob Zuma. With unheard of entry to Mbeki and Zuma in addition as key ANC brass, Gevisser provides an intimate but available account of South Africa’s earlier, current and destiny. along with his gorgeous account of the Mbeki family’s historical past as a backdrop, Gevisser fleshes out the very human components of a huge interval in international background that might proceed to form African politics for years yet to come.
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Extra resources for A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream
And even if he was a lifelong revolutionary, it seemed to hold, for him, the nostalgia of familial comfort. On entering the house in 1999, I saw the table, and insisted on opening it up. It was dull, unpolished, and warped. No matter: It was glorious, its elegantly turned legs in perfect proportion, even if they no longer all touched the ﬂoor. It conjured up clean tablecloths, women in calico prints, a Victorian paterfamilias reading to his sons from the family Bible, and it transformed the dowdy room into nothing less than a parlor.
My children did well in school because they knew I would not take failure lightly,” she recalled. “Even when they were very young—Jama could not have been more than two or three—I would collect the four of them together and say, ‘Listen here, children . . if any one of you does not wish to go to school, you should tell me now. If any one of you wishes rather to go and work on the mines, or to work for white people in their kitchen, rather go now and do not waste my money. ’ ” Epainette Mbeki’s love was a tough one that made little concession to a child’s need for play and fantasy: The world she wished her children to occupy was free of the affect, both the fear and whimsy, the ghosts and fairy tales, that conventionally populate childhood—and of the religious beliefs that animate rural African life.
As a young boy, Thabo was a letter-reader and letter-writer for the illiterate adults in his community, privy to all the news communicated between migrant laborers in the cities and the people they left back home: their emotional pains and marital inﬁdelities, their physical hardships, their longings, Mbewuleni ● 39 their aspirations and the impossibilities of ever attaining them. He was by no means the only child in the Transkei who read and wrote letters for illiterate peasants—his contemporary and rival in the ANC, Chris Hani, was doing the same thing at the same time in another part of the Transkei.
A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream by Mark Gevisser