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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 (318 )
5 star
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4.0 (175 )
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4.2 (175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12
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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
  •  
    Amazon Customer Canberra, Australia 09-30-12
    Amazon Customer Canberra, Australia 09-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Get it now! It's Awesome!"
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    We've already listened to it twice in 2 days! All the stories are fun and quite funny as well. Not too much moralising, just great stories.


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

    The story of Kasingi taking banans and pawpaws and chickens to market. Very funny.


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

    Whoopi Goldber's story of the Djinn.


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

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    Very good value for money, told all my friends about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 07-23-12
    Anonymous 07-23-12 Member Since 2011

    book_fan_attic

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    "Great CD! No Story/Performer list"
    What did you love best about Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales?

    Alan Rickman! Alan Rickman! Alan Rickman!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The stories were funny, engaging and appropriate for children and adults. The stories and performers (most of them - not all) are worth listening to repeatedly. I highly recommend this CD. Plus, purchase goes to a good cause.


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

    Alan Rickman! There is not enough praise for him. Other readers left wonderful stories flat. Some actors are personalities and not trained actors so only their fame earned them a place with the real talent.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have any hesitation purchasing this CD, don't! It is an excellent compilation and well performed album for anyone of any age or gender.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tobin Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-18-12
    Tobin Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-18-12

    I love Books !

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    "Great Stories !"
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    These stories are amazing. They are timeless.


    What did you like best about this story?

    there are lots of stories and they have soul.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    All the narrators are A+


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    every story is good


    Any additional comments?

    love it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Asta 05-26-12
    Asta 05-26-12
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    "A Pleasant Moment with African Folk Tales"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I found many of those stories interesting culturally.


    Any additional comments?

    I learned a few things from listening to this audiobook. One was that certain tales are universal. Another was that being a good screen actor did not necessarily translate into being a good voice actor or verbal story-teller. For this project, there is an impressive line-up of well-known celebrities who each took on a folk tale. For the most part, I found many of these narrations to be rather bland and uninteresting but there were a few exceptions such as Whoopi Goldberg, Hugh Jackman, CCH Pounder, and Don Cheadle. I found those to be the most interesting narrators whose different character voices, voice acting and sound effects were well done. There were also stories I liked better than others. Usually, the shorter, the better. I started losing interest and struggled to pay attention to the longer stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mikael Ulricehamn, Sweden 05-14-12
    Mikael Ulricehamn, Sweden 05-14-12

    Audiobooks makes my 10+hour commutes every week alot more bearable. :)

    ratings
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    5
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    "Quite enjoyable"
    Any additional comments?

    The stories are hit and miss, but the good ones arent less than great so its all well worth the listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 04-29-12
    Maggie 04-29-12
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    "Brilliant"

    I loved this book so much that I bought the paper edition as well to learn more about the selections and sources of the stories. Each story is read by a unique voice well chosen for the particular tale. And African music is included whenever song is part of the story, transporting the listener to a culture that is beautiful and unique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff United States 04-24-12
    Jeff United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2015
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    "A fantastic listen for adults and children"
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    Absolutely. Stories like these are timeless, and I enjoy them every time I hear them. They're great for when you need to kill 10-20 minutes, or when you want to half-listen to something you've already heard before. I like to put them on when I'm going to sleep. And, they're fun to listen to with kids because they are short and fun to talk about.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naomi ANTELOPE, CA, United States 04-02-12
    Naomi ANTELOPE, CA, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Favorite African Folktales"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Many favorites


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't really say.


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

    I found many of the stories amusing and found myself chuckling at the outcome.


    Any additional comments?

    I love these stories as they take me back to my childhood. I love the fact that I can plug my IPhone in while I am driving and listen to the stories on my way to/from work each day. Helps to mellow me out on the drive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riaz St Lucia, Australia 12-13-11
    Riaz St Lucia, Australia 12-13-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Excellent stories, poor, poor formatting"

    The stories are brilliant, of course. Africa's colourful and moving storytelling traditions are well-represented here.

    The readings are fantastic as well. Whoopi Goldberg, amongst others, brings these stories to life in a way that is hilarious, moving, and entertaining. A great selection of readers!

    My one HUGE gripe is that each story begins at about 10 seconds before the end of each track. Thus when you go to the start of a chapter and press play, it starts about 15 seconds into the story, missing the title of the story, intro music and the first few lines introducing what is going on.

    This makes it VERY HARD to navigate the audiobook, or to skip back and find tracks you liked to share with other people. Epic fail guys! Come on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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