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Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales | [Nelson Mandela (editor)]

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is an audiobook benefiting children orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS in South Africa, featuring Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, and Alan Rickman.
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Audible Editor Reviews

in a unique effort to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Artists for New South Africa, 23 narrators recorded as many African Folktales hand-picked by Mandela for this collection. The narrators — ranging from Samuel L. Jackson to Whoopi Goldberg to Charlize Theron — are notable actors. Half the fun of listening to these tales is trying to guess who's reading. While some voices are more distinctive than others — kudos to Alan Rickman (perhaps best known now for his portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series) who uses his pebbly baritone and stop-go cadence to full, dark effect in "The Ring of the King" — all are entertaining. Also listen for "Fesito Goes to the Market", where Don Cheadle enunciates as loudly, clearly, and confidently as the best live storytellers, while giving each character a different attitude with a remarkable range of tones. Helen Mirren, too, gives a standout performance — reaching the point where strength and vulnerability collide — in the epic and bittersweet "The Mother Who Turned to Dust".

The stories themselves are classic morality tales, including kings and children, lions and hyenas, gold and magic. Some of the lessons are straightforward, others more cryptic, but each legend is its own full and colorful world. The stories, which average about 10 minutes each, are perfect for children — not that they're at all childish. The universal themes hit hard; the tales don't always end happily, but they're light and wondrous enough for children, while being deep enough for adults (or kids) who choose to look further. At under four hours, the collection is short, but there's enough here that you'll want to listen over and over again — it's sure to become a favorite bedtime ritual. —Kelly Marages

Publisher's Summary

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is an audiobook benefiting children orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Featured narrators include Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, and Alfre Woodard, with a special message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and original music by South African legends by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela, directed by Alfre Woodard.

The audiobook was a truly international affair, recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, and Johannesburg. The stories were chosen by the Nobel Laureate himself, from every region of Africa.

Net proceeds will benefit the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Artists for New South Africa, which works in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, provide comprehensive assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, advance human rights, educate and empower at-risk youth, and build bonds between both nations. Both organizations are working to address the impact of the AIDS pandemic on children in South Africa.

All the individuals and companies involved in the effort have donated their services to allow a maximum amount of proceeds to benefit the charities. In addition to waiving sales and distribution fees, Hachette Audio will donate 100% of proceeds to ANSA and NMCF, and NB Publishers has waived fees, so additional royalties can benefit NMCF. The audiobook was manufactured by Ivy Hill/Cinram, which is donating a significant portion of their services. The actors, creative director, engineers, graphic designers, attorneys, and recording studios fully donated their services, as did three-time Grammy winner Gavin Lurssen, who mastered the audiobook.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

(P)2009 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"In tales such as these, the dream-like, unpredictable symbology and sometimes cruel morality of myths resonate, and, in Mandela's words, the 'gritty essence of Africa' shines through in stories with universal themes." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (289 )
5 star
 (106)
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3 star
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Overall
4.0 (146 )
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Story
4.2 (146 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 08-13-09
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 08-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exotic, fun and fascinating"

    When you buy this book, be sure to download the accompanying reference guide and then seek out the 5 extra stories not included in the album. I have no idea why all the stories weren't bundled in together.

    The folk tales make you think, and provide some interesting explanations for why certain things are the way they are.

    The music by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela adds a great multimedia touch, and the songs can be played separately from their stories as well. The reference guide has a translation of the words of the Zulu songs.

    The extra tracks are:
    Spider and the Crows
    The Lion, the Hare, and the Hyena
    The Cloud Princess
    The Cat Who Came Indoors
    Mmadipetsane

    Thanks to Audible for making this collection available worldwide.

    41 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Wanganui Rd 14New Zealand 08-13-09
    Sandy Wanganui Rd 14New Zealand 08-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    1
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    Overall
    "South African childhood"

    For anyone who grew up in South Africa, this takes you right back! Would have like some African voices to have read it out though...Good stories for your children if you have emmigrated from SA....

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deshanta Sandton, South Africa 12-20-11
    Deshanta Sandton, South Africa 12-20-11

    A lover of books, technology, music, earthiness, food and great conversations. I make light work of social media marketing and SEM.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Magical for children and adults alike"
    What made the experience of listening to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales the most enjoyable?

    The tales of famous African folklore was brought to life by the actors and actresses that took part in the narration. It was awesome to listen to these stories as if each and every Holloywood narrator were reading it to me and only me at bedtime.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The variety of folk tales that span the entire African continent and not just South Africa.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Alan Rickman's and Whoopi Goldberg's narration stood out for me.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Redwood City, CA, United States 09-01-11
    Amazon Customer Redwood City, CA, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Uplifting and fun"

    This compilation is great to listen to in the car. There are different voices, male and famale, African and not, and tales ranging from quick and Aesop-like to longer, from Table Mountain to north African stories. Each carries a rhythm of Africa and occasionally a song embedded.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 07-30-11
    Amazon Customer Utah 07-30-11 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Listen"

    I enjoyed listening to these little stories. They were made more endearing by the fact that Nelson Mandela picked them out from among his favorites. The narrators were well chosen and did a truly great job. The music, accents, the whole direction of these stories came together to set an enjoyable ambiance. It has a delicious African flavor, and teaches some good lessons in the mean time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Lee Gainesville, Florida United States 10-02-13
    Jane Lee Gainesville, Florida United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "beautiful"
    If you could sum up Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales in three words, what would they be?

    i liked them


    What did you like best about this story?

    the readers


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the first story about the kings ring


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    something to save, to listen to one of the stoires, between reading other regular length books

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarabaite 12-05-11
    Sarabaite 12-05-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    27
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    "Great for an English teacher to have on hand"
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    Easy to listen to -- even if you just listen to one or two stories at a time


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john Salem, OR, United States 10-28-13
    john Salem, OR, United States 10-28-13 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    112
    4
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    "Wonderful short stories, great reading."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales to be better than the print version?

    The readers as one would think are outstanding, try to guess who since it is not announced!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales?

    The generosity of the Sultan's son and his reward.

    The generosity of the young boy going to market and his success.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Seen their movies. All Pros!


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

    Feel good, it is intended as a children's book but I would recommend it to adults, especially those with children and grandchildren.


    Any additional comments?

    I may have to get this on Kindle for my wife and/or granddaughter. They will have to miss out on the super audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Newcastle, Australia 01-24-13
    Phil Newcastle, Australia 01-24-13 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some very cool stories"

    I bought this for the kids and found myself listening too it over again. Loved the multiple celeb narrations, made it even cooler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    "Great in the car! The music adds interest."
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    Yes! Unique stories.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The moral lessons w/out being contrite.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Too many to pick.


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

    Kids from 8-15 yrs. old all listened w/interest.


    Any additional comments?

    The african influenced music made it all the more captivating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • N. Bowring
    Sussex
    11/6/12
    Overall
    "Pleasing"

    Delightful tales well narrated by various actors. I would have given it a 5 star rating if some of the actors had bothered to learn the pronunciations of African nouns. And it would have been interesting if we'd been told who was reading what.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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