Portrait of an Extraordinary Man, Mandela


Madiba on the windows of the Civic Centre building

“Courage is not the absence of fear”
-Nelson Mandela

When a family friend heard I was coming to Cape Town he recommended a very popular book about Mandela called Nelson M andela: Portrait of an Extraordinary Man (aka. Mandela’s Way) by Richard Stengel. My boyfriend gave it to me as a birthday present because I had previously mentioned that I wanted to read it.  I have to say that it is such a great book. I know that it sounds like a very touristy thing to do (read a book about Mandela before coming to South Africa) but it’s not!

I recommend the book to internationals, South Africans, and just anyone who wants to be enlightened. This book has a very interesting and unique structure and narrative of telling Mandela’s biography. It takes you through different stages of Mandela’s life by using the different lessons that Mandela learnt throughout his life, both as a person and a leader. Stengel uses these lessons as a way to teach the reader about South Africa’s history and culture, while at the same time giving advice on how to become a better person and leader. Ps. For those of you who don’t like to read, still read it! It is a really easy read, BIG FONT, and only around 250 pages


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