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Forced to Grow


David Philip Publishers, 1992

ISBN-10: 0-86486-236-9       

ISBN-13: 978-0-86486-236-5

Available at all leading bookstores or directly from: 


New Africa Books

1st Floor, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town 8001

Telephone: 021 4675860  

Fax: 0214675895







Continues the story from the point when her husband deserted her and left her, aged 23, to fend for herself and three small children. With indomitable spirit she ‘grasped at a second chance to make what I could of my life’. She describes her experiences as a domestic worker, teacher, her ambitious studies by correspondence, late at night, agonies as a parent during the 1976 student revolt, involvement in women’s organizations working for peaceful change, and, with a bursary to Columbia University, her mind-blowing journeyings between Guguletu and New York. She retains a sharp sense of humour even when describing the many hardships and crises of her eventful life. The vitality of Forced to Grow will delight readers as much as To My Children’s Children, acclaimed in South Africa and abroad.




"Magona writes with wit and passion. She is frank about her failures as a mother, funny about her culture shock, wry about her achievement, furious with soulful whites who ask her, "What do your people want?" --implying that all blacks are the same and that no whites can know them. Her candid, dramatic memoir makes us know the politics of apartheid through the particulars of her personal story."

— Hazel Rochman, author of Somehow Tenderness Survives

Copyright © 2014 Sindiwe Magona  

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