Memoirs Ahmed Kathrada Memoirs

ISBN 13: 9781868729180

Memoirs

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9781868729180: Memoirs

Ahmed Kathrada’s autobiography is a moving read about a man who not only observed, but also actively participated in the shaping of a country’s history. Born a shopkeeper’s son in a small rural town, he became the trusted confidante of some of the most prominent political figures in South Africa’s struggle history, among them Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. Politically active at the age of 10, Kathrada devoted his life to the freedom struggle in South Africa. Persecuted, driven underground and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia Trial, Kathrada spent 18 years on Robben Island, where he grew close to both Mandela and Sisulu, whom he regarded as a second father. On the island, in his tiny garden patch, Kathrada buried the original draft of Mandela’s autobiography, until such time it could be smuggled to London.

In this book, truly a collection of memoirs, he affords us rare glimpses into his and other activists’ lives during the struggle and imprisonment, and sketches poignant cameos of those who would become South Africa’s post-apartheid leaders. This is a fascinating book about a modest man who experienced a momentous life.

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About the Author:

Born a shopkeeper’s son in the rural town of Schweizer-Reneke, Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada became the trusted confidante of some of the most prominent political figures in South Africa’s struggle history, among them Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. Politically active at the age of 10, and joining the Young Communists’ League at 14, Kathrada - or ‘Kathy’, as friends and family affectionately call him - devoted his life to the freedom struggle in South Africa. In 1964, along with Nelson Mandela and six other co-accused, Kathrada was convicted of acts of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia Trial. He spent the next 26 years in prison, 18 years on Robben Island, where he grew close to both Mandela and Sisulu, whom he regarded as a second father. Kathrada was released from prison on October 15, 1989. Having lived side by side with men who shaped the history of South Africa and assumed positions of power, Kathrada himself remained humble. He was a member of South Africa’s first freely elected parliament in 1994 and a member of Nelson Mandela’s cabinet from 1994 through 1999. Letters from Robben Island, his first book, was published in 1999. His latest book, Memoirs, affords the reader a rare glimpse into his and other activists’ lives during the struggle and imprisonment, and sketches poignant cameos of those who would become South Africa’s post-apartheid leaders. Ahmed Kathrada lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Kathrada, Ahmed
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