Browsing Category Robben Island

Bloem (T.) KROTOA-EVA, the woman from Robben Island
239 pp., maps, paperback, Cape Town, (1999) 2002. OUT OF PRINT
Krotoa (1643-1674) was a member of the Goringhaikona tribe and the niece of Autshumao, a Khoi leader. She was employed by Maria van Riebeeck and given the name Eva. She became the chief interpreter for the Dutch and later married Pieter van Meerhoff, who was appointed overseer on Robben Island. Shortly after her arrival there in 1665 she became an alcoholic and after his death was frequently confined on Robben Island because of her drinking.
340 pp., paperback, Cambridge, 2003. R560
Fran Buntman reconstructs political prisoners' resistance strategies on Robben Island to show how they created a political and social order behind bars and transformed the prison into a site of resistance.

"Basing her account on extensive interviews with many who had spent considerable parts of their adult lives on 'the Island', Professor Buntman offers valuable insight into prison conditions, collective resistance and responsibility, anti-apartheid struggle, political imprisonment more generally and its connections to political transformation." David Theo Goldberg

"Her study of leaders and rank-and-file activists on Robben Island is splendid, a fscinating depiction of the continuities of the struggle and an inspiring account of how the prisoners strengthened themselves - politically, psychologically and educationally - to challenge the regime. She also deserves special praise for the richness of her many interviews" Thomas Karis

Fran Lisa Buntman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at George Washington University.
Crook (L.) ISLAND AT WAR, Robben Island 1939-45
344pp., 4to., illus., maps, paperback, Cape Town, 2013. R475
A military history of Robben Island and the South African Coast Artillery.

Lionel Cook commanded the Cape Field Artillery, and went on to become Colonel Artillery at Headquarters, 7 SA Infrantry Division, before being appointed to the post of Deputy Director Artillery (Field) at SA Army Headquarters.
Daniels (E.) THERE AND BACK, Robben Island 1964-1979
264 pp., illus., paperback, Third Edition, Cape Town, 2002. OUT OF PRINT
Foreword by Nelson Mandela.

The autobiography of Eddie Daniels who spent 15 years on Robben Island in the company of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and others.
Deacon (H.) ed. THE ISLAND, a history of Robben Island, 1488-1990
186 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Cape Town, 1996. OUT OF PRINT
Dr Harriet Deacon is a freelance historian and an independent consultant.
Other contributors to the book are Nigel Penn, Arthur Davey and Fran Buntman.
Desai (A.) READING REVOLUTION, Shakespeare on Robben Island
129 pp., b/w & colour illus., hardback, d.w., Pretoria, 2010. R380
Ashwin Desai discusses the books read by former inmates of Robben Island prison. He makes extensive use of biographical accounts, and reveals how these books inspired the prisoners, and how they used marked sections of text to communicate with each other.

Ashwin Desai is Director of the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg.
Kathrada (A.) A SIMPLE FREEDOM, the strong mind of Robben Island prisoner, no.468/64
148 pp., b/w & colour illus., hardback, d.w., DVD, Johannesburg, 2008. R149
Introduction by Nelson Mandela. Preface by Tim Couzens.

While in prison on Robben Island Ahmed Kathrada kept clandestine notebooks in which he noted down quotations from library books and newspapers that inspired him. This book offers a selection of these quotations, together with personal memories Tim Couzens collected in informal conversations with Ahmed Kathrada.

Also includes a DVD, directed by Anant Singh, which "shows the waves of Robben Island as they are washing up against the voice of Kathrada, interviewed by Couzens, off camera." Maureen Isaacson

This book was shortlisted for the 2009 Alan Paton Award.
Khumalo (F.), Harper (P.) & Kunene (G.) THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE ON ROBBEN ISLAND, banter, pastimes and boyish tricks
232 pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2012. OUT OF PRINT
A collection of anecdotes by former Robben Island prisoners, in which they relate how they coped with prison life.

Fred Khumalo is a columnist, a novelist and Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Paddy Harper is a journalist and political correspondent.
Gugu Kunene is a former radio, television and print journalist.

Also available as a hardcover in a slipcase, collector's edition, with extra illustrations, for R295.
90 minutes, DVD, , 1994. R270
A documentary on the four-hundred year history of Robben Island. In the seventeenth century lunatics and lepers were banished to the island. In the 1960s it was turned into a high security prison. Includes interviews with Walter Sisulu, Neville Alexander, Govan Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, Steve Tshwete, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Patrick "Terror' Lekota, Eddie Daniels, Mac Maharaj, Tokyo Sexwale and warder James Gregory.
Magona (S.) FROM ROBBEN ISLAND TO BISHOPSCOURT, the biography of Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane
300 pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2011. R260
Njongonkulu Ndungane succeeded Desmond Tutu as Archbishop of Cape Town.
Naidoo (I.) ISLAND IN CHAINS, prisoner 885/63
296 pp., illus., paperback, Second S.A.Edition, Johannesburg, (2000) 2006. R110
Foreword by Mac Maharaj. Includes the postscript to the first edition by Albie Sachs and the foreword to the first edition by Francis Meli.

Indres Naidoo's account of the ten years he spent as a political prisoner on Robben Island. First published in the UK in 1982 this book was written together with Albie Sachs after Indres Naidoo had been released from prison in 1973 and gone into exile in 1977.
17 minutes, DVD, , 2005. R140
A tour of Robben Island's history: its early years as a leprosy patients colony and a mental asylum, its time as a maximum security prison and its present-day role as a museum.

Extra features include interviews with two former prison warders, former prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, and an island conservationist.
Schadeberg (J.) comp. & photo. VOICES FROM ROBBEN ISLAND,
109 pp., 4to., illus., paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (1994) 2006. R189
Photographs of and interviews with former inmates, family members and jailers. Photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, together with Elinor Sisulu and Enoch Sithole, documented the 1994 revisit to Robben Island of some it's former prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Tokyo Sexwale, Ahmed Kathrada, Neville Alexander, Mac Maharaj, Jacob Zuma, and many others.

Includes the script of Mary Benson's radio play, "Robben Island".
Schalkwyk (D.) HAMLET'S DREAMS, the Robben Island Shakespeare
191 pp., illus., paperback, London, 2013. R480
David Schalkwyk examines the experience and representation of imprisonment by bringing together the experiences of political prisoners on Robben Island and the prison that is Hamlet's Denmark. He makes use of the so-called "Robben Island Shakeseapeare", a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that belonged to Sonny Venkatrathnam and was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by thirty-four prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, in the 1970s.

"A battered Shakespeare annotated by the Robben Island prisoners leads, in David Schalkwyk's hands, to an intriguing meditation on the interplay between Shakespearean texts and the rich field of South African prison memoir." J.M.Coetzee

"'Hamlet's Dreams' is a work of Shakespearean criticism like no other: in this courageous, deeply felt, and often moving book, grounded in his own South African experience, and informed by a scrupulously historical intelligence, David Schalkwyk uses the so-called 'Robben Island Bible' as an instrument for interrogating the issue of Shakespeare's much-debated 'universality' in new and provocative ways." Michael Neill, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Auckland

David Schalkwyk is Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C. and Professor of English at the University of Cape Town.
176 pp., map, b/w & colour illus., paperback, Second Edition, Cape Town, 1997 (2013). R132
A revised and updated edition of Charlene Smith's social and political history of Robben Island.

Charlene Smith is a South-African born journalist and writer. Her other books include "Mandela: in celebration of a great life". She lives in the USA.
146 pp., illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2010. R160
An autobiography of Menziwa Esau Tsholoba, born in 1936 in a small town between Queenstown and Aliwal North. As a young man he joined the Pan Africanist Congress, was arrested in 1963, sentenced to three years imprisonment for being a member of a banned organisation and sent to Robben Island.
Vassen (R.D.) ed. LETTERS FROM ROBBEN ISLAND, a selection of Ahmed Kathrada's prison correspondence, 1964-1989
300 pp., illus., paperback, Second Edition, Cape Town, (1999) 2000. OUT OF PRINT
Foreword by Nelson Mandela. Introduction by Walter Sisulu.

Ahmed Kathrada spent 26 years on Robben Island, having been sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial. This book is a collection of 103 of the more than 900 letters he wrote from the Island.
Venter (S.) ed. A FREE MIND, Ahmed Kathrada's notebook from Robben Island
135 pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2005. R180
A selection of quotations from books, magazines and smuggled newspapers which Ahmed Kathrada transcribed into his private notebooks during his 26 years as a political prisoner.
Wells (J.) REBELLION AND UPROAR, Makhanda and the great escape from Robben Island, 1820
46 pp., illus., paperback, Pretoria, 2007. R65
Makhanda, a warrior-prophet of the Xhosa people, led an attack against British forces in Grahamstown in 1819. After his surrender he was imprisoned on Robben Island but escaped in 1820, together with over 20 other prisoners. This is the story of what is known about their escape.

Published in the Hidden History Series, edited by Raymond Suttner.