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Good Morning, Mr. Mandela: A Memoir
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Good Morning, Mr Mandela > Good Morning, Mr Mandela: Week 4 (Chapters 12-13)

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message 1: by Carolien (last edited Oct 28, 2014 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carolien (carolien_s) Welcome to our final week of the group read.

For those based in Johannesburg, you have a chance to meet Zelda at Love Books on 3 November at 18:00 for 18:30. RSVP to Kate at http://www.lovebooks.co.za/


Carolien (carolien_s) My short summary of the final section: "read it and weep".

Weep with Zelda for the special man she slowly lost to sickness and finally death. Weep with all the people who genuinely mourned Madiba's death. Weep with rage at the way the family treated Mrs Machel, her family and various friends and family stalwarts, including Zelda, towards the end of Madiba's life. Some of the politicians involved in the final rites genuinely cared and would probably also have wanted a different kind of ceremony, but were overruled by a combination of political expediency and family arguments.


John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Contrary to what the ANC would have us believe, Nelson Mandela was not a traditionalist. This was evident in A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, where the young Mandela ran away from the royal household, and its privileges, rather than submit to an arranged, loveless marriage.
Zelda confirms this characteristic in the older Mandela's funeral arrangements:
1) With reference to the emphasis placed on the ancestors, she says that "Madiba was respectful of tradition, but not overly obsessed."
2) The rain at the memorial service was said to be the gods welcoming Mandela. Zelda says that Mandela "would have thought that nonsense."

Mandela was truly a global icon, and not bound by narrow beliefs. What a contrast with the current ANC leadership!


John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Carolien wrote: "My short summary of the final section: "read it and weep".

Weep with Zelda for the special man she slowly lost to sickness and finally death. Weep with all the people who genuinely mourned Madiba'..."


Zelda does make an effort to soften her contempt for most of Mandela's direct family, but reading between the lines reveals why Mandela was closest to people mostly outside his family.
However I do have some empathy for the family: Mandela returns from 25 years in jail, only to be swept away by the adulation of the world. It must have been difficult for them to accept and deal with.


Carolien (carolien_s) John wrote: "Carolien wrote: "My short summary of the final section: "read it and weep".

Weep with Zelda for the special man she slowly lost to sickness and finally death. Weep with all the people who genuinel..."


I found the description of his funeral an interesting contrast to Joe Solvo's as described by his daughter inEvery Secret Thing. In his case, the family played an extremely small role in the planning of the whole funeral (this was probably the first state funeral held by the ANC government).


John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Carolina,
Thank you for leading our duet so ably. I enjoyed sharing with you the opportunity to draw near to the great man one more time through Zelda's heartfelt story. She did her people proud.


message 7: by Carolien (last edited Oct 31, 2014 12:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carolien (carolien_s) I enjoyed it too. I always appreciate your insights into the Madiba world. Are you joining me for Ways of Dying next week?


John Mountford (KillMandela) | 735 comments Carolien wrote: "I enjoyed it too. I always appreciate your insights into the Madiba world. Are you joining me for Ways of Dying next week?"

No way I would miss. Dying to read it.


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