The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa
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The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The winner of South Africa's prestigious Sunday Times/Alan Paton prize, this moving, illuminating memoir chronicles the life of an extraordinary woman in South Africa who was born in 1873 in colonial South Africa and lived through the early years of apartheid to her death in 1955. The story of Katie Makanya opens a window to a side of South African life seldom recorded, ex...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 23rd 1998 by Wiley (first published February 23rd 1900)
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1995, by Margaret McCord Nixon, based on tapes in sessions with Makanya.

Katie Makanya [1874-1955] did a good thing when she decided at age 80 to tell her life story, and Margaret McCord does a wonderful job of presenting it. What a tale! The vicissitudes of her childhood with two very good parents, a year or more spent in England singing in a choir, experiencing being viewed as an exotic, her strong desire to return home and marry, waiting till she met the right husband, with whom in spite of hi...more
As I am traveling to South Africa for my first trip in 6 weeks I wanted to read something about the country that was not told from the point of view of a politician; this really exceeded my expectations. Katie Makanya's perceptions of whites, Zulus, Indians, "heathen non-Christians" and others are woven into the fabric of her memoir which was written by the daughter of white doctor who became a longtime friend and employer. A very special book about hardship, faith and survival.
I enjoyed reading about Katie, even if her tale is told via tapes. I do think some of the complexities of her life were probably overlooked and the focus seemed mostly on how Katie related to the 'white world'. Probably a by product of who edited the narrative and who Katie recorded her story for in the first place.
I found this at the Library, but have never met anyone else who's read it. It was wonderful and inspiring (yes, I use those words too much... sorry!)

I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. From the description it might not sound that interesting but it was a good read.
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