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Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales Audiobook

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

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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

4.0 (363 )
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4.3 (216 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jane C. 10-02-13
    Jane C. 10-02-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    62
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    Story
    "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 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarabaite 12-05-11
    Sarabaite 12-05-11 Member Since 2017
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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 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frae 12-09-16
    Frae 12-09-16 Member Since 2015

    Aspiring author, classic literature scholar, fantasy and horror junkie, all wrapped up in a cute little package.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"

    The Nelson Mandela Favorite Folklore are incredible, and indescribably charming. I cannot recommend these stories enough for children or adults who wish to learn more about African Folklore. I recommend getting all the stories, which will run you less than taking your family to the movies. The narrators are brilliant and bring these tales to life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alena Alasdar 09-29-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "a delightful experience"

    Fun stories with groovy characters. the tribal music and performances in the native tongue make this a very special experience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolette Irene, South Africa 08-29-16
    Nicolette Irene, South Africa 08-29-16 Member Since 2017

    An audible addict:)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "For every Toastmaster"
    Would you listen to Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales again? Why?

    If you are a Toastmaster member, get you hands on this book! You will love it, own it, speak about it


    What did you like best about this story?

    Short stories


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    All narrators are professionals and captivating


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

    All of it


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must for all Toastmasters<br/>

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Hebner 05-11-16
    Anna Hebner 05-11-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stories interesting but inconsistent"

    Some stories were better than others, but I enjoyed the variety and the fact that they were different, in various ways, from American children's stories. If you are really looking for folk tales, be warned that some of these are definitely modern stories. The performances range from good to excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Henry 01-10-15
    Terri Henry 01-10-15

    Onelove Livity

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My 5 and 6 year old love these stories"

    Interesting and unusual stories that have my children captivated. The music in between the stories adds so much, I love to dance to it and and my daughter loves to sing with them!

    0 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 2016
    ratings
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    153
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "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.<br/><br/>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 1 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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12
    Shawn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 12-05-12
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful

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