Book Review: Good Morning, Mr Mandela


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Someone said about this book that it’s pointless to read, if you had already read Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. Well, since I haven’t as much as opened the first page of this popular biography, I found Zelda la Grange’s account of working for Madiba both interesting and enlightening.

Her straight-talking approach is extremely refreshing – it’s clear she’s not afraid to speak out and name names. Also, it’s incredible to see her transform from a young, inexperienced typist to being the support system for one of the world’s most revered men.

It’s no wonder she’s called Madiba’s “honorary granddaughter”.

You don’t have to be Einstein to see that the author’s relationship with the late statesman was so much more than that of secretary and boss. He relied on her for almost everything and at all hours of the day and night. Yet, she repeatedly makes it clear that her sacrifices were worth it and that she would not change a thing. More than that, she started depending on him too. It’s no wonder she’s called Madiba’s “honorary granddaughter”.

For me the book is punctuated with tear-jerking moments. To be honest, I often found myself reading about this (almost) two decade-long relationship with a tissue up my sleeve.

I wouldn’t call Good Morning, Mr Mandela a page-turner, but all in all, it’s a good read.


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