Number 43, Trelawney Park, a modest house in a suburb of Manzini, Swaziland, was for many years a vital base of operations for the ANC. The house was known as KwaMagogo (“place of the grandmother”), after Rebecca Makgomo Masilela – the author’s mother – who provided sustenance and support to the cadres who operated from Swaziland during the liberation struggle.
The Sharpeville massacre of 21 March 1960 was a decisive turning point in South Africa’s history. It marked the climax of a decade of mounting, non-violent resistance to apartheid centred among the black majority of the country’s inhabitants. Sixty-nine defenceless anti-pass demonstrators were killed on that day, mainly shot in the back; 186 were injured. It also signalled the opening of a much more brutal and intensive phase of state repression which would, in the space of a few years, largely crush internal resistance. Immediately following that eventful day tension and conflict between the apartheid state and the liberation organisations rose sharply.
The Making of an MK Cadre manuscript is surely an ambitious title under which to peddle the story of one MK (ANC military wing) cadre. It is meaningful though in that it positions the cadre, Wonga Welile Bottoman (aka Webster Gcaleka), as still an MK cadre, and by implication all those who were made into cadres. However, since MK was in fact disbanded, it is a fetish statement with mere references on how MK cadres were made.
This book re-lives the exile experience of many South Africans from 1978 to 1992 at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO). Much is known about the youth who fled South Africa to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Less is known about the many who left the country to receive education and vocational training and to be part of a unique, self-reliant community at the ANC settlements of Mazimbu and Dakawa, near Morogoro in Tanzania. This latter group of mainly young people were equally freedom fighters, dedicated to preparing themselves for service to the struggle and for reconstruction and development in a free nation.
This is the true story of Sihlangule Siwisa, a South African man who decided to quit his job and the height of the global recession to follow his dream of starting his own publishing company. However, it was through the failure of that company that taught him the importance of not giving up on his dreams—and now he is offering his advice to you. In the inspiring The Courage to Begin Again, you will follow Sihlangule’s journey as he explains how he overcame financial ruin and despondency and has experienced overwhelming triumphs in his life to this day.
“When Zenzile’s courageous attempts to free herself from the chains of her poor background failed, she did what beasts have to do for survival in the jungle. Desperate, ashamed and hopeless, the former star matriculant—who was once the epitome of possibility to her otherwise ill-fated village—sought refuge in the streets that later swallowed her up. Buried in a foreign land by the state, all she left behind is an ever present legacy that ensures that in her fall a nation is inspired. Her chronicles are captured by a radio presenter whose efforts to restore her pride were shockingly disrupted by a wretched episode.”