Nelson Mandela birth anniversary: 5 books to read from the inspirational leader



One of the most famed leaders of the century, and the receiver of more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Mandela became a cult personality during his lifetime and is still held in deep respect around the world.

In South Africa, he is often referred to as Madiba, and described as the “Father of the Nation”.

Born on 18 July 1918, he was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was the country’s first black head of state as well as the first elected official in a fully representative democratic election.

His legacy included a detailed focus on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation.

As the world remembers the great leader on his 104 birth anniversary, here’s taking at look at 5 books by Nelson Mandela.

1. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela: The book profiles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison. The book also recounts the toll he suffered from being separated for so many years from his wife and children and his inauguration as president of South Africa on May 10, 1994.

2. Mandela: The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson: Originally published in 1999, the book was one of the first to examine issues like Winnie Mandela’s crimes, and State President Frederik Willem de Klerk’s suspected attempts to use security forces to derail peace talks.

3. Conversations with Myself: The book draws on Mandela’s lesser-known personal archive to offer unique access to the private world of the celebrated world leader and includes journals that he kept during the anti-apartheid struggles of the early 1960s. It was published in 2010.

4. Favorite African Folktales: Nelson Mandela’s favourite African folktales saw him pick out 32 stories from various African cultures, which according to Mandela showed the “the gritty essence of Africa.” Translated from their original languages—Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa, and many others—these folktales are a testament to the craft of storytelling.

5. In His Own Words: His most important speeches collected in a single volume, the book recounts his words from the eve of his imprisonment to his release twenty-seven years later, from his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize to his election as South Africa’s first black president, these speeches span some of the most pivotal moments of Mandela’s life and his country’s history.

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