Elinor Sisulu chronicle the life Albertina Sisulu in new Abridged book
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Elinor Sisulu chronicle the life Albertina Sisulu in new Abridged book

Elinor Sisulu chronicle the life Albertina Sisulu in new Abridged book

5 October 2018 ARTS & CULTURE


By Zuko Komisa

The story of Albertina Sisulu has once again been immortalised in book form, this time in a new abridged autobiography by Elinor Sisulu.

Elinor Sisulu who, as part of another exclusive Kaya Book Club, shared the journey of the conception of this important record of a piece of our country’s history. She was in the forefront of the struggle and exemplified the enormity of the role of women in the struggle against apartheid.

The author Elinor Sisulu, who is also an activist and the daughter-in-law of Albertina Sisulu, sat down with Dr Sithembile Mbete and shared her journey of discovery while she wrote this timeless piece of work about MaSisulu.

The book club gathering began with Sisulu outlining the serious reading crisis that exists in South Africa and the need to have an abridged version of Albertina Sisulu’s autobiography. The book is designed to be an easy read with key life milestone of the struggle icon.

Elinor Sisulu chronicle the life Albertina Sisulu in new Abridged book

Elinor Sisulu chronicle the life Albertina Sisulu in new Abridged book

Elinor Sisulu also expressed the book is not really about Albertina Sisulu’s life but all the women in her life during the peak of the Apartheid regime. This is evident in the stories about how the women organised the historic 9 August 1956 march to the Union Building, their sacrifices and the significance of having them being in the forefront of protesting a brutal regime.

Another important point made in the evening was a story about a recent Sisulu family unveiling where one of the young children in the family asked who were these people. This became a point of worry for Elinor Sisulu, which made her realise the importance of telling the family’s stories. She also spoke about the importance of archiving the family’s history, writing about a family member and having deep conversations with our elders about our own origins.

Asked what her definition of decolonising education was, Elinor Sisulu said to be the masters of knowledge of self, where you are an expert in your own identity as an African. The book is available from all good bookstores.


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