South Africa: Zelda La Grange – ‘Afrikaners Don’t Know Enough About Madiba’


Zelda la Grange hopes her new six-part documentary will help some Afrikaans speakers understand Nelson Mandela not just as a one-dimensional reconciliatory icon who appeared in a Springbok cap and jersey at Ellis Park in 1995.

Zelda la Grange, who spent almost 20 years in the intimate orbit of a man regarded as one of the world’s greatest statesmen, is of the opinion that many Afrikaners still have no idea of Nelson Mandela’s life story and who and what it was that influenced the choices that led to his election as the first president of democratic South Africa.

At an intimate recent launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation of the documentary, Mandela – ‘n Uitsonderlike Roeping (Mandela – An Exceptional Calling) currently being screened on KykNET at 8pm on Sundays, La Grange told the audience she felt a responsibility and “self-imposed need to tell a story, to add to all the other stories, in my language”.

Quoting the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, La Grange said that “we risk a critical misunderstanding” if singular narratives existed in isolation. She added that she had always…


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