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Good Morning, Mr. Mandela: A Memoir | [Zelda la Grange]

Good Morning, Mr. Mandela: A Memoir

A white Afrikaner, Zelda la Grange grew up in segregated South Africa, supporting the regime and the rules of apartheid. Her conservative family referred to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela as "a terrorist". Yet just a few years after his release and the end of apartheid, she would be traveling the world by Mr. Mandela’s side, having grown to respect and cherish the man she would come to call "Khulu", or "Grandfather".
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Publisher's Summary

A white Afrikaner, Zelda la Grange grew up in segregated South Africa, supporting the regime and the rules of apartheid. Her conservative family referred to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela as "a terrorist". Yet just a few years after his release and the end of apartheid, she would be traveling the world by Mr. Mandela’s side, having grown to respect and cherish the man she would come to call "Khulu", or "Grandfather".

Good Morning, Mr. Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman’s life, beliefs, prejudices - everything she once believed - were utterly transformed by the man she had been taught was the enemy. It is the incredible journey of an awkward, terrified young secretary in her 20s who rose from a job in a government typing pool to become one of the president’s most loyal and devoted associates.

This audiobook offers a rare, intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and his remarkable life as well as moving proof of the power we all have to change. Includes an introduction read by the author as well as an author interview.

©2014 Zelda la Grange Proprietary Ltd. Recorded by arrangement withAllen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books. (P)2014 W.F. Howes Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"This story proves the power of making politics personal and is an important reminder of the lessons Madiba taught us all." (President Bill Clinton)

"President Nelson Mandela’s choice of the young Afrikaner typist Zelda la Grange as his most trusted aide embodied his commitment to reconciliation in South Africa. She repaid his trust with loyalty and integrity. I have the highest regard for her." (Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (20 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.6 (19 )
5 star
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Story
3.2 (18 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rob Burnt 07-11-14
    Rob Burnt 07-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE NARRATION IS NOTHING SHORT OF A DISGRACE"
    What would have made Good Morning, Mr. Mandela better?

    The narration is execrable, hence 2 stars overall. If the narration was passably acceptable it would get 5 stars.


    What other book might you compare Good Morning, Mr. Mandela to and why?

    Christo Brand, Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend. Also a memoir of a person close to Madiba over many years, this time during his incarceration. It is also comparable as the "narration" is similarly execrable.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She is TOO AWFUL FOR WORDS! A disgraceful mockery/caricature of a so-called "South African" accent


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The content is excellent


    Any additional comments?

    Oh why, oh why do publishers of South African audiobooks insist on using narrators that are downright embarrassing, if not insulting. The pseudo-South African accent is execrable and this completely ruins the experience and the book. I am not sure if the narrator (other than the portions by Zelda herself) is deliberately caricaturing the accent and taking the mickey out of South Africans or if she is just plain awful. The audiobook of Christo Brand's memoirs (Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend) was also ruined by execrable narration in the form of the most awful attempt at a South African accent. I, personally, as a South African regard the narration of both books as a downright insult because they are embarrassingly bad, reminiscent of ghastly Hollywood attempts at a South African accent for its "baddies", following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the replacement of them as traditional baddies with South Africans (South Africa at the time being a pariah state because of Apartheid). I would urge audiobooks to redo the books because, sad to say, the present audio is too ghastly for words.
    If you cannot find a South African to narrate the book, I'll do it for free as a public service to listeners, who ought to be spared the torture of listening to the farcical attempt to mimic a South African accent. I know of no English speaking South African, who remotely sounds or speaks like the narrator.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette 08-05-14
    Annette 08-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I cannot listen to this!!"
    Would you try another book from Zelda la Grange and/or Adjoa Andoh and Zelda la Grange ?

    Zelda la Grange wrote a great book. The narration however, is an insult to all South Africans!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The content.


    What didn’t you like about Adjoa Andoh and Zelda la Grange ’s performance?

    Adjoa Andoh tries to mimic a South African accent and fails dismally. What a pity that a great story is diminished by terrible narration.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Please record again using a different narrator.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donn Edwards Johannesburg, South Africa 08-13-14
    Donn Edwards Johannesburg, South Africa 08-13-14

    Donn Edwards

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Accent by the Narrator"

    I have enjoyed Adjoa Andoh's readings of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and even though she acted in "Invictus", a movie about Nelson Mandela, she simply cannot do a credible or authentic accent of either Zelda la Grange or Nelson Mandela. I cannot understand why producers of audiobooks about Nelson Mandela have failed so monumentally in getting narrators that can do the job.

    There are plenty of competent South Africans who would read this book and get the pronunciation of "la Grange" and "Mandela" correct. An example would be the person who interviews Zelda la Grange at the end of the book.

    It is agonizing for a South African to listen to 14 hours of mangled words like this. I'm returning this book in disgust at the publishers. Sorry, Zelda!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deon Joubert Richards Bay, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa 05-03-15
    Deon Joubert Richards Bay, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa 05-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable eye opener!"

    Me and my wife are down to the sad bit of the book now, so it may be premature to rate it, but we have enjoyed the experience and inside line through Zeldina's experiences thoroughly. I have always been reserved about my opinion of Madiba, but she has dealt with my reservations to the point that I believe that our first black president was sent by God Himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clay 01-06-15
    Clay 01-06-15
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    "Story & Characters brought to Life by Narrator!"

    I will admit, at first I was confused why Zelda wasn't reading the book herself, but Adjoa Andoh had me involved in the story right until the end. She brought emotion and life to the words! The simple effort to mimic accents was a delight and I appreciated that!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Venn midrandSouth Africa 12-30-14
    Venn midrandSouth Africa 12-30-14 Member Since 2007
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    "This is a must read for anyone who loved Madiba"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Good Morning, Mr. Mandela to be better than the print version?

    Sadly the audio version sounded a little false, although I appreciate the attempt at trying to give the narration an authentic feel, I did not enjoy the false accent used and in places I noticed that the voice did not hold true to the true accent of Zelda, Madiba and others. I could clearly hear that this book was not narrated by an Afrikaans speaking person, but once I accepted this fact I chose to ignore the voice and listen to the words.


    What other book might you compare Good Morning, Mr. Mandela to and why?

    Goodbye Bafana and Tomorrow is another Country


    What aspect of Adjoa Andoh and Zelda la Grange ’s performance would you have changed?

    The Accent


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book is well written, it depicts a great man and an honest account of a person who served him for so long. Moments in the book are very touching and those of us who lived through the transformation can attest to the feelings Zelda had. The bitterness shown towards Zelda towards the end, was sad but also a clear indication of a family trying to reclaim their Father and Grandfather. It must have been hard on the family who had to sacrifice Madiba to an apartheid jail and then once released to the world. Get out the tissues this account is a roller coaster


    Any additional comments?

    Zelda, you served Tata well. Your background was not conducive to the job, but you transformed and became part of history. Our late President would have been proud of you. Criticism will come, but your account is beautifully told and anyone who offers criticism on you, is doing so, out of jealousy and spite. I heard about the book on Christmas day and hey presto I finished it today. Great book, Jy is regtig waar n opregte Suid Afrikaaner. Jy hoef geensins terug te staan vir niemand hie

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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