By Phyllis Ntantala
"Like Trotsky, i didn't depart domestic with the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I come from a relatives of landed gentry . . . [and] can have selected the trail of convenience and protection, for even in apartheid South Africa, there's nonetheless that direction in the event 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 accepted to different South African blacks. in its place, her fight used to be that of an inventive, articulate girl looking achievement 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 relations skilled a interval of great switch in South Africa and likewise within the usa, the place they moved in the course of the Sixties. She discovers similarities within the international locations, together with the confidence of power.Anchored in heritage 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 triggered common affliction within the moment half the 20 th century. Phyllis Ntantala discusses the cruelty of racism, the cynicism of political recommendations, and the hopes of these who dwell in either a global of exile and a global of goals.
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Extra info for A Life's Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala (Perspectives on Southern Africa, No 49)
Aunt Daisy was always complaining too about Somhlophe and her friends. Somhlophe had not returned to eMgwali after her illness, so was home for that whole year. Here was a fourteen-year-old, at home, with very little to do! Aunt Daisy thought she was getting out of hand and had to be bridled. One day Somhlophe and Granny came back late from town. The sun had already set. Aunt Daisy was furious with them. She demanded to know who had been with them in town. Not satisfied with whatever answer they gave, she went to Tata to ask him to find out.
Mrs Qavane (aunt Ma-Mlambo) came to do the washing every week and sometimes the ironing. But it was Tata who ironed our clothes regularly. Granny came home on weekends, and would sit around reading papers, then go to Grandma's to chat with whoever was there. ' To which she always replied: 'These kids are big. ' Ntangashe and I wondered just what she would do when she got married; she was so lazy. She would be a disgrace, we told each other. Early in April, a telegram came saying that Somhlophe was ill.
Preparations were afoot for my cousin Nomavila and my aunt Nongakubani to go through the adult rite of passage – iNtonjane . This is a rite that a girl experiences after she has had her menses, to prepare her for woman-hood and marriage. Both girls and parents look forward to this with great excitement. For a month or so, the girl is secluded in a separate house, only going out early in the morning and at night, when there are not many people about. In the house where she is secluded, there gather at night her age group – boys and girls – under the watchful eye of two chaperons.