Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 7, 2013

Vale Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

In a world with few heroes, Nelson Mandela was a man universally admired.

In addition to his well-known attributes, he was also a booklover.  I am indebted to Daniel Musiitwa at the Africa Book Club for this quotation from Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself,

… a good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood and souls. It can turn tragedy into hope and victory.

Mandela also acknowledged the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down’.

Daniel Musiitwa has compiled a collection of books by and about Mandela: click here to see it.  If you haven’t read Long Walk to Freedom, I recommend it.  It’s inspiring to read this man’s story in his own words.  I’ve just ordered Nelson Mandela’s Favourite African Folktales for my school library, I teach a unit called Stories Around the World so this will be a great addition.  I’ve ordered The Children’s Mandela too, for our biography collection.


  1. And Chinua is fantastic. If you haven’t already read “There Was A Country”, I recommend it. :)


    • Hello Gautam, no I haven’t read that one, just Things Fall Apart (when I was at school) and No Longer at Ease. But I think I know what Nelson Mandela meant about his greatness, so I’ve added your suggestion to my wishlist at GoodReads. Thanks for dropping by:)


  2. Nice Lisa … these leaders who believe in non-violent resistance like Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, and Gandhi are so inspiring. Why can’t we all be more tolerant and forgiving!


  3. And I think that is the loveliest tribute you can pay him, Lisa. By ordering and reading his books. Thanks for sharing! :-)


    • I’m lucky I’m a teacher, and in a position to spread his message of hope and reconciliation to the next generation. That will be the important thing. How fantastic to see that message of reconciliation expressed in President Obama’s handshake with the Cuban President!


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