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A coffee table book authored by Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Dr. Pumla Makaziwe Mandela, takes a look at the family man behind the statesman with never-before-seen private photography.

By Tom Page, CNN —

The story of Nelson Mandela’s life is well told. Whether through his autobiography “Long Walk To Freedom,” presidential memoir “Dare Not Linger,” numerous biographies, miles of newsprint, documentaries and feature films, the late president of South Africa is no mystery to the public. Yet a new book penned by his daughter aims to take a fresh perspective on the man behind the statesman.

Published by maker of luxury tomes Rizzoli, “Mandela: In Honor of an Extraordinary Life” is a photographic account of the man and his family. Authored by Dr. Pumla Makaziwe Mandela, the youngest and last surviving child of Nelson and first wife Evelyn Mase, it gives an intimate view of a man on a mission to deliver a new dawn for the nation, and the family that grew along that journey.

Featuring a tribute from the Reverend Al Sharpton and passages from Dr. Mandela, the book also contains never-before-seen images of the private life of Mandela and his children, released for the first time nearly 10 years since his death in December 2013 at the age of 95 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In an email to CNN, Dr. Mandela said she wrote the book “so that people have a better understanding of who he was (and) what formed him as a human being. He had a certain moral code that he adhered to that he learnt from his ancestors, and he was consistent in following that until he closed his eyes.”

The book is, she said, both a tribute to her father and for her own grandchildren, “so that (they) can have a living reference of who their great grandfather was and be inspired by his courage and love for humanity.”

Dr. Mandela’s account is divided into chapters looking at her father as the boy who grew up in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, then as an activist, prisoner, politician and family man, as well as detailing his legacy. Some may be familiar – the conditions of his jail on Robben Island – others not, like the time a young Mandela fled to Johannesburg to escape a prospective marriage, stealing and selling a cow to pay for his travel.

Despite her lifelong relationship, the author said the writing process provided the opportunity to learn more about the man she affectionately calls “Tata” (father in Xhosa). “I understood my father a bit better in terms of the sacrifices that he made,” Dr. Mandela said.

“He made choices and some of those choices were not easy,” she continued. “When he grew up and went to university, he thought that would help him to assist his mother and sisters and get them out of poverty. He had regrets about the fact that he was not able to do that from a family perspective, but then again, he was successful in a larger sense because he helped achieve emancipation for his countrymen.

“Change is not easy and takes a lot of courage, determination and consistency. He realized that bringing about a new dispensation in South Africa would take all of us as a collective and bring the entire country along.”

Ahead of the book’s publication, CNN asked Dr. Mandela to share her thoughts and memories on a selection of family photographs being made public for the first time. View photos below to discover more.


New book “Mandela: In Honor of an Extraordinary Life,” authored by his daughter Dr. Pumla Makaziwe Mandela, takes an intimate look at the life of the late South African leader. The book features never-before-seen images of his private life and that of his family, alongside passages written by Dr. Mandela. Ahead of the book’s release, CNN asked the author to share memories of her father and loved ones.

“Mandela: In Honor of an Extraordinary Life” is published by Rizzoli and on sale in the US and UK now.

Source: CNN


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