183pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, (Bloemfontein), 2019.
A memoir by retired Mthatha lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Mda Mda, published just before his 96th birthday. A life member of the New Unity Movement and a recipient of the President’s Convocation Medal, he discusses his life and the history of the area now known as the Eastern Cape Province from the late 1800s to the present. He also examines the life of K.D. Matanzima, long-term leader of what was then the homeland of Transkei.
"Mda Mda presents us here with a gift. He knows more about the history of the Xhosa-speaking people than almost anybody. This knowledge is derived from, on the one hand, simple proximity - his closeness to the people - and, on the other, a lifelong passion for the scholarship of what we now call the Eastern Cape. Proximity brings to life detail which we would not ordinarily have access to. The scholarship locates the story of the Xhosa-speaking people in the big picture of global politics and of imperialism in the main. Such a coming together is rare," Crain Soudien, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council
"This book, based on lived experience and events 'as they were related to the author', makes an important and refreshing contribution to current debates on the complexities of chieftainship. Whoever doubted the value of oral history in the reconstruction and understanding of our past must read the book." Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town