To celebrate her father former President Nelson Mandela, Dr Makiziwe Mandela launched her book - Mandela: In Honour of an Extraordinary Life, on Thursday at a soft launch at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.
Mandela was hosted by South African entrepreneur, billionaire, medical doctor, philanthropist, and chairman of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, Dr Iqbal Survé.
On December 10, it had been 10 years since the former president’s passing.
In his welcome, Dr Survé described Mandela as one of the most progressive people in the world and said she carries the ideals of her late father.
Mandela launched her book in New York, which was well received, and landed back in South Africa on Wednesday evening.
Speaking to the auditorium filled with former freedom fighters such as Dr Alan Boesak, Judge Siraj Desai, and many other dignitaries, Mandela said she is not a writer by profession and said her father has also been a Xhosa man, a countryman who shared the values and customs of his ancestors throughout his life.
“Many books have been written about Tata but not one has our voice as his prodigy,” she said.
She said the book was to reclaim the Mandela name, which was not her father’s but her grandfather’s name.
“What is missing in many books is that Tata did not achieve freedom for South Africa alone. He was always surrounded by many. The book is to say that without the support of others, this would not have been possible,” she explained.
Mandela said her father was protected from the ugliness while living in Transkei, as he was in a protected environment; however, when he moved to Johannesburg, he saw the horrible conditions of black people.
She said Walter Sisulu convinced her father to join the African National Congress (ANC).
While her father was in exile, Mandela says much was expressed about how Western countries assisted; however, little was said about the help from our African neighbours.
“The book also shows how Africa supported us. The message: nothing is achieved through a single individual.
“Tata comes from a culture where even if you disagreed with the views of others, you still listened,” she said.
The afterword of the book was written by Mandela’s daughter, Tukwini Mandela.
Mandela said in the book that there is a family chapter that speaks about the trauma of children losing their father to life imprisonment.
“It was not an easy journey. Writing this book made me see my father in a different light,” she said.
Dr Allan Boesak, who personally knew Mandela, shared fond memories of him and said on Wednesday, December 13, that it has been 10 years since he delivered a sermon at the late stalwart’s memorial service in the national cathedral in Washington, DC.
“A title from that sermon was taken from a song in the Black church and titled: It ain’t over until God said it’s over. I remember, there were so many people dancing in the streets who were celebrating his life and his legacy. So even though the man is not with us, the way he lived and what he left for us will remain. There were people that were saying: "Oh, it is over for South Africa now," but I said that was not true. It ain’t over until God said it’s over.
“The legacy of Madiba does not lie in the statues. His legacy does not lie in his face on every single rand note; it does not lie in the exploitation of his name. The legacy lies in the truth that you have presented, which our people still hold in their hearts. That determination that freedom will reveal and our commitment that it will not stop until our child has a safe future,” Boesak said.
Mandela also gave a brief reading of her book.
Dr Survé also launched The Omar Khayyam Club.
Omar Khayyam was a polymath, known for his contributions to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, and poetry.
Dr Survé said the club will be hosting monthly get-togethers for anyone who has done something extraordinary. A group of 10 people will meet each time and network within the club.