uMama: Recollections of South African mothers and grandmothers
The hand that rocks the cradle … as this must-have book amply demonstrates there is almost always a nurturing mother figure behind the people who become giants in their field. Thus witnesses 50 men and women, well-known in the public life of South Africa, with touching short essays about their mothers or grandmothers. There are writers, musicians and stars of the stage, educationist and legal dignitaries, businesspeople and sports personalities, artists, filmmakers and media leaders.
“I resemble my mother physically – short and stumpy, with a large nose, then I would add, I hope I can resemble her spiritually – to emulate her generosity and compassion and concern for the weak.” So writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And of his mother Kader Asmal says: “When my marriage in 1961 and my political activities precluded my return to my home from overseas, my brothers did not inform her of my marriage to Louise, because one or two of them disapproved of it. Many months later, when she learned about it, she did not consult her sons but sent the only piece of jewellery she owned – her ring – to Louise.”
Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela join them both, as do Mac Maharaj and Trevor Manuel, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Chris Chameleon, and also Antjie Krog, JM Coetzee and Zakes Mda , Pieter Dirk- Uys, Lucas Radebe, Albie Sachs and many more.