Vilification of Zelda Le Grange’s book unfair

Having finished Zelda Le Grange’s book, Good Morning, Mr Mandela, yesterday evening, I am convinced that she was vilified and insulted unreasonably.

I finished reading Good Morning, Mr Mandela by @ZeldalaGrangeSA yesterday evening and believe that what she shared was sharable indeed. I’m one of those who, prior to reading the book, had wondered whether she had not betrayed the family and the trust it had in her, especially Nelson Mandela himself. Not anymore. At least not after I just finished reading the book.

The hype created by extracts published in mainly Sunday newspapers from the book created the impression that she was talking dirt on the family, etc. Personally, she was not and there is nothing in the book, in my view, that need not have been shared especially from her point of view.

Good Morning, Mr Mandela

Good Morning, Mr Mandela

Zelda was somewhat vilified by people who were concerned that she may have said things she should not have said about the family. If you read the book – that’s if you ever will, if you haven’t already – you will notice (I hope) that what she shares in there are her views, and she’s not shared anything that may be seen as unsharable, top secret, etc – she’s stayed away from that.

Reading this book and Frank Chikane’s two latest books and how he tried to stay clear off other matters due to their nature, I could sort of make that connection. At least that’s my view. Reviewers of books sometimes tend to create this perception that one had formed of Zelda’s book prior to reading it. What this experience has now taught me is to never always believe what the reviewers are saying – no matter how much you respect and value their opinions. No-one is perfect. Not Zelda, not me – no one.

So, I’d really appreciate if you could say more about the book after having read it first. Calling her a “prick” and “bitch” as has been done is not only disrespectful to the person she is but having read the book myself, I’m convinced that even Nelson Mandela would not have approved of her being labelled such names. How despicable!

Even those extracts were selective, it appears, and may have been chosen to create a perception they did to such newspaper’s readers. Well, I’ve since changed my mind after finishing this book.

The extract choice reminds me of those from Malaika Mahlatsi’s recent book, Memoirs of a Born Free – the email she sent to Julius Malema and Floyd at the time – that was published in Mail & Guardian recently and the impression they created. Most people who criticised Malaika at the time had not, in my view, read what came before that selected/chosen extract (email), hence their ill-informed response to her – which they believed was a sign of what they had always thought of EFF. At the time, I advised such people to first read Malaika’s book – as I had finished reading it at the time the said except was published in Mail & Guardian – especially what came before it to understand her email to Malema and Floyd.

So, the same similarity can be drawn here, at least in my view: that often we are too quick to respond to certain things without familiarising ourselves with the background thereof or what came before what we are responding/reacting to at that time.

At the same time, this is not to say I (dis)agree with her account as noted in the book. By the way, this is not a review of the book as that will surely follow later.

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