Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
4 out of 5 stars (456 ratings)

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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.

Public Domain (P)2009 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 listeners say about Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

58 people found this helpful

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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!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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....

11 people found this helpful

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Bedtime stories..

Love these stories for bedtime. The stories are good, the books have celebrity narrators, classic stories, songs, and good sound effects. Strongly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Great collection with excellent performances

As with any collection, some stories are interesting and others are a bit dull. Overall, though, the performances were brilliant. Especially, the music added a new dimension to the narrative. Highly recommended, not as an absolute authority on African folktales, but as a brief introduction to it.

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Delightful

If you ever want to venture forth into the imagination of the mind and folklore of the heart of Africa, then my all means open up this beautiful book and take a deep breathe of the Serengeti .

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy Bowring
  • 11-06-12

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 12-05-16

Well read and fun to listen to

A few of the readers were a little weak, but most were top quality, and the stories were all very interesting to hear.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Leticia
  • 04-05-18

Great!

Comical, creative and captivating! Was a pleasurable listening experience. Good for the kids before bedtime or play it in the car.

2 people found this helpful