By Khulu’s side – The story of Nelson Mandela’s Afrikaner “boere-meisie”


Ekow Nelson, 1st September, 2014

“No person is born a racist. You become a racist by influences around you. And I had become a racist by the time I was thirteen years old. By that calculation I should not have been Nelson Mandela’s longest-serving assistant. But I did.” These words by Zelda La Grange pretty much sum-up her story in her recently published memoir, ‘Good Morning, Mr. Mandela’* and are a tribute to the late President Mandela’s talent for persuading and power of transformation.

The memoir charts the unlikely journey and Damascene conversion of a conservative Afrikaner typist from the idyllic middle-class environs of Pretoria to the office of the first Black President of post-apartheid South Africa and later, as de facto Chief of Staff and spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Foundation where for some 14 years she ran and organized the affairs of the most adored global…

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