A Life's Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala by Phyllis Ntantala

By Phyllis Ntantala

"Like Trotsky, i didn't depart domestic with the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I come from a kinfolk of landed gentry . . . [and] may have selected the trail of convenience and safeguard, for even in apartheid South Africa, there's nonetheless that course when you will collaborate. yet I selected the trail of fight and uncertainty."--from the PrefaceBorn into the small social elite of black South Africa, Phyllis Ntantala didn't face the grinding poverty so favourite to different South African blacks. as an alternative, her fight used to be that of an inventive, articulate girl looking success and justice in a land that attempted to disclaim her both.The widow of Xhosa author and historian A.C. Jordan and mom of African nationwide Congress chief Z. Pallo Jordan, she and her kin skilled a interval of large swap in South Africa and likewise within the usa, the place they moved in the course of the Sixties. She discovers similarities within the nations, together with the boldness of power.Anchored in background and tradition, A Life's Mosaic sharply unearths the realm and the folks of South Africa. because the tale of a political exile, it represents the dislocations that experience prompted common agony within the moment half the 20th century. Phyllis Ntantala discusses the cruelty of racism, the cynicism of political strategies, and the hopes of these who dwell in either an international of exile and an international of goals.

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Extra info for A Life's Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala (Perspectives on Southern Africa, No 49)

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She had to laugh. Now what teacher does not like a child like that? Before the end of my first year in school, when I was four and eight months, Mama died. She had been ill early in the autumn, but recovered. Then she went down with pneumonia late in October and died within a week. She had been nursing aunt Daisy, Tata's sister, who had been brought very ill from her home to Grandma's house. ― 25 ― Shuttling between the two homes – ours and Grandma's – Mama caught the pneumonia virus that was to kill her.

Sometimes they absconded, leaving the stock unattended in the pasture. On such occasions we had to fill in until a new herd-boy was hired. Or the herd-boys would leave at critical times – stock-dipping days – and we, the girls, had to take our cattle to the dipping tank. It was at these times that I witnessed bull fights. Our bull, Roland, was a champion fighter. The inspectors at the dipping tanks were always very kind to us. They would ask the other herders to stand down for us, so that our stock would go in first, and we would not wait long in the queue.

Why should I not be allowed? I begged; I pleaded; I cried. In the end Tata gave permission. I do not even remember seeing any Prince of Wales, for whose sight I had shed such copious tears. All I remember is the train journey to Umtata; the children under the supervision of teachers from Duff, Thaleni, Colosa and Good Hope; sleeping on the train in Umtata; marching the next morning to some place with children ― 32 ― in front and behind us; standing in the sun somewhere and then marching back to the train; and the journey home.

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