A Dream Fulfilled: Memoirs of an African Diplomat

 
9780958514002: A Dream Fulfilled: Memoirs of an African Diplomat

"I devoted 33 years of my life to the liberation struggle. For 33 years I clung tenaciously to the idea of freedom and dignity for my people, and now that my dream has been realised I look forward to being part of the building of a new South Africa. Out of the old has come a new, out of the atrocities, apologies and reconciliation. We have a very long way to go, but we have made a wonderful beginning and I am proud to have been a part of the past. I am proud to continue building for an ever better future; but for now, my dream fulfilled, I live my life with joy, from moment to moment, one day at a time! Nkosi sikelel iAfrika!"

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About the Author:

Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe served as South African High Commissioner to Mozambique from 2002 to 2009. As one of the fi rst black women Ambassadors and Career Diplomats in South Africa, she has led and represented the foreign and diplomatic strategy and relations of South Africa in Tanzania, Botswana and Mozambique. In many respects Thandi is a true pioneer, having started the fi rst South African High Commission in Tanzania in 1995, and being one of the fi rst women to document her experience of being exiled from South Africa. Thandi is widely acknowledged for her strong negotiating, lobbying, administrative and coordination skills. Throughout her career she excelled at forming relations with leaders within governmental, business and non-governmental sectors in order to achieve transformation. In her capacity as Ambassador to Mozambique, she worked with a number of key African institutions, namely SADC and the AU, amongst others, as well as with leading international organisations such as the EU and some UN organisations. book book Among her many accomplishments, Thandi facilitated Trade and Industry relations at governmental level, as well as facilitating South African businesses operating in Tanzania, Mozambique and Botswana, such as Murray & Roberts, Sasol, and Standard Bank. Thandi also spearheaded the coordination of various reconciliatory activities, social investment and women s initiatives.There is no doubt that Thandi s vast experience contributed to her success as a seasoned diplomat, having represented the ANC in various roles in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, and she was ANC Chief Representative in Norway from 1988-1994. She coordinated various projects within the ANC structures, especially within the ANC Women s League, where she was Chairperson of the ANC Women s Section in Botswana and Zimbabwe. She also served as an independent observer during the Mozambican elections.Thandi s international organisational experience began with the United Nations Development Programme, where she was programme coordinator for scholarships for ANC and SWAPO students. Thereafter she coordinated various projects working for NORAD in Botswana and the Norwegian People s AID in Zimbabwe.Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe devoted 33 years of her life to the liberation struggle. She has drawn extensively on her personal experience in the remarkable body of work she has produced over the past 25 years. She wrote an article on Child Labour in Africa, which was published by UNESCO in 1987. Her next work, ANC History Booklet 1912-1991 was published in Oslo, Norway in December 1991.

Review:

"As we celebrate 50 years of the Freedom Charter, 50 years since the historic march by women on Pretoria, not forgetting the 30 years since the shameful massacre of unarmed schoolchildren in 1976, it is fitting that we remember and acknowledge the formations and individuals that made all of this possible."One of these is, of course, Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe, the subject of this fine and authoritative autobiography, which outlines for us, in sometimes uncompromising terms, the journey taken by herself and by extension a whole swathe of humanity from the cauldron of apartheid, through various postings in exile to a triumphant though demanding return to the native land. A quiet, unassuming though single-minded woman, Thandi represents the best that any country can offer. I urge you to read this book as it will not only inform you but will become one of the most important records of the invincibility of the human spirit." --Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

In this personal appreciation of the book, Ambassador Msolomi examined through the eyes of the author "...the unacceptable plight of the black people of South Africa caused by the oppressive white minority regime, through 1961 when the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, MK, (Spear of the Nation) was created, up to 1990 when Nelson Mandela and the other Prison Graduates were released. Note is taken of Thandi s military and diplomatic experiences during the struggle and after the liberation of her country when her dream was fulfilled.""Secondly reference is made to some anecdotes relating to her life and how she survived hardships and near death experiences...."Thirdly any Tanzanian will be attracted to her experiences in Tanzania together with her view of the central role Tanzania played in the liberation of East-Central and Southern Africa."Lastly, the book contains interesting letters and photographs.""Finally, her dream fulfilled, she lives her life with joy. She believes a bright and prosperous future is awaiting the African Continent...""In conclusion, I must admit that this was my first experience of an autobiography of a distinguished African lady. Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe is a great South African freedom fighter, an excellent diplomat and a writer you can never forget. I offer my salutations with profound respects to her." --Ambassador Jaafar Msolomi

A Dream Fulfilled was one of those books that I really could not put down! For me, it was like sitting at the feet of the greatest history teacher ever! Thandi took me through the struggles and pains of apartheid and the rewards of perseverance in 144 pages. The book was detailed enough to for me to fully grasp what really went on during the days of apartheid in South Africa and short enough for me to read in one day. This book should be in every home, library, and definitely on every school and college campus around the globe. --Author/Radio Host S. Denice Newton

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