Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

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Nelson Mandela
W. W. Norton & Company, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 143 pages
2 Reviews
Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is a cause for celebration, landmark work that gathers in one volume many of Africa's most cherished folktales. Mandela, a Nobel Laureate for Peace, has selected these thirty-two tales with the specific hope that Africa's oldest stories, as well as a few new ones, be perpetuated by future generations and be appreciated by children throughout the world. In these "beloved stories, morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa," we meet, among many others, a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads and a trickster from Zulu folklore; we hear the voices of the scheming hyena and learn from a Khoi fable how animals acquired their tails and horns. Several creation myths tell us how the land, its animals, and its people all came into existence under a punishing sun or against the backdrop of a spectacularly beautiful mountain landscape. Whether warning children about the dangers of disobedience or demonstrating that the underdog can and often does; win, these stories, through their depiction of wise animals as well as evil monsters, are "universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts, and the mystical." What is particularly exciting about this book is that many of the stories, in their oral form, are almost as old as Africa itself. Most of them were, in fact, first told in various African tongues around evening fires in centuries past; tales from, for example, the San and the Khoi, the original hunter-gatherers and livestock herders of Southern Africa. Translated into English and other European languages chiefly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from their original languages; be they Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa, or one of many others; these folktales are a testament to the craft of storytelling and the power of myth. Accompanied by dozens of enchanting, specially commissioned color paintings, Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales; culled from African countries as far-flung as Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya; presents a fountain of precious knowledge that will be treasured by children, as well as adults, for years to come.
 

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Review: Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

User Review  - Overstock.com

We bought a calendar with some of the photos parts of the stories in this book. My 13yearold son I are both so charmed that weve decided we need the whole thing. Read full review

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This is a very lovely book! The stories are charming and give little tid-bits about the regions the stories originated from.
A great collection of tales, I highly recommend it!

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
8
Section 2
9
Section 3
12
Section 4
22
Section 5
47
Section 6
55
Section 7
66
Section 8
78
Section 9
83
Section 10
87
Section 11
102
Section 12
124
Section 13
134
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa. His teacher later named him Nelson as part of a custom to give all schoolchildren Christian names. He briefly attended University College of Fort Hare but was expelled after taking part in a protest with Oliver Tambo, with whom he later operated the nation's first black law firm. He eventually completed a bachelor's degree through correspondence courses and studied law at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He left without graduating in 1948. Mandela was part of the African National Congress (ANC) and spent many years as a freedom fighter. When the South African government outlawed the ANC after the Sharpeville Massacre, he went underground to form a new military wing of the organization. In 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. Instead of testifying at the trial, he opted to give a speech that was more than four hours long and ended with a defiant statement. While in prison, he received a bachelor's degree in law in absentia from the University of South Africa. In 1990, Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with former South African President F.W. de Klerk in 1993 for transitioning the nation from a system of racial segregation. After leaving the presidency, Mandela retired from active politics, but continued championing causes such as human rights, world peace and the fight against AIDS. He died on November 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

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