readers of the new school: nelson mandela’s books

December 13, 2013

The world lost one of its greatest leaders last week; like many others around the world I was deeply moved by Nelson Mandela and admired his unrelenting courage and staunch bravery. Nelson Mandela was one of the most beloved and esteemed leaders of our time, so I took time to reflect upon the life of a man who truly fulfilled his purpose and in doing so changed the lives of countless people throughout the world. I’m truly glad that Nelson Mandela lived; there is so much to be learned by exploring his life and understanding what he accomplished as a humanitarian and leader. Luckily Mandela authored numerous books in which he shared his wisdom and spoke about his life. If you would like to commemorate him and reflect on his story, here are a few books by Madiba himself that you should definitely check out!

By Damola Durosomo, AFROPUNK Contributor

A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Perhaps the most popular of books regarding his life, A Long Walk to Freedom tells the story of how Mandela became the leader that we all know him as today, dating back to his early years as a lawyer in South Africa. He talks about how he got into politics and how he became wanted by the government because of his position as a “man of the people”. He thoroughly discusses his time in prison and the implications that it had on his family, his mind and his spirit. This story ends in triumph when Mandela becomes the first black president of South Africa in 1994, one of the most momentous events in history. This book is exceptional because it gives the reader a glimpse into Mandela’s inner thoughts as well as a first hand account of his extraordinary life.

Selected Speeches and Writings of Nelson Mandela
As the name implies, this book consists of Mr. Mandela’s greatest speeches such as “No Easy Walk to Freedom” and “I Am Prepared to Die”. This book is filled with quotable material and powerful writings. There is infinite truth and insight in his speeches, be sure to check this one out!

Favorite African Folktales

This book is a collection of African Folklore from all over the continent. Mandela put together this collection in order to expose both children and adults alike to the wisdom and enchantment of African folktales. Storytelling is a vibrant and intriguing part of African culture and Mandela captures the essence of that very beautifully in this book. He prefaced this anthology by stating: “It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller will never die in Africa, that all children in the world may experience the wonder of books, and that they will never lose the capacity to enlarge their earthly dwelling place with the magic of stories”- what a beautiful message! There is certainly a magical book!

Madiba has left us with an overabundance of knowledge through his writings. Celebrate his remarkable life by checking some of these out; you’re sure to gain endless hope and inspiration from his wonderful teachings!