As I type this, Nelson Mandela is spending his third week in hospital. I thought about how I could pay my own tribute to Tata. Then it dawned on me. Back in 2010, my dad bought a coffee table book for me called “The Children’s Mandela” . Nelson Mandela loves kids. So why not let the kids do the talking?
From the children of South Africa
When I first read this book, it made me laugh, it made me cry, all in all – it just made me proud to be able to say that Nelson Mandela was my president. Basically, if you’ve ever watched the game show “Small Talk”, you pretty much know how this book was put together. The author, Tyne Doyle, did the same sort of thing. He travelled to all corners of South Africa and asked kids a bunch of questions about Madiba. Their answers formed the basis of the book.
It is thoroughly enjoyable! Here are some of the highlights:
Q: What was he like when he was your age?
He was probably like any typical boy our age. Thinks he’s the greatest and was a big pain.
Jessica, age 10.
He looked like me actually.
Willy, age 8.
Q: If he came to your house for supper what would you make him and why?
I would buy him KFC because we don’t cook very well.
Abdullah, age 9.
I would give him pasta so he would get tangled in it and it would give me time to get my camera and take a photo.
Thea, age 10.
Q: What did he do on Robben Island?
He broke rocks but his spirit was never broken, never broken.
He was thinking and writing down how to be a president.
Nina, age 8.
Cute, right? There’s so much more in this gem of a book. I think it is a great tribute to a great man.
Thank you Madiba. Thank you thank you, and thank you. I really hope that we can do his legacy justice.