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To My Children's Children


David Philip Publishers, 1990

ISBN-10: 0-86486-150-8       

ISBN-13: 978-0-86486-150-4 

Available at all leading bookstores or directly from: 


New Africa Books

1st Floor, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town 8001

Telephone: 021 4675860  

Fax: 0214675895



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Written as a ‘letter from a Xhosa Grandmother’ to her “grandchildren” so that they do not lose their history, this is Sindiwe Magona’s gift to posterity, not just her biological offspring. It is an account of her eventful first twenty three years. Her early years in a Transkei village, her childhood and adolescence on the Cape Flats, in Retreat and later Guguletu, where she was poor but secure in a loving family. All this is described with humour, zest and enjoyment of township life. But then came the disaster of teenage pregnancy and forced a change of all immediate plans for a teaching career. She tells a candid, unself-pitying story of endurance in the face of hardships relentlessly reinforced by the apartheid system.




"Her book may be written to her children's children, but its messages go beyond bloodlines. It has something to say to the global family about the ravages of racism, the strength of the family and the perseverance of the African spirit."

— The Boston Globe



"Magona's memoir is a delightful, poignant, feisty and uplifting story that chronicles, in a refreshing and authentic voice, what it means to attain womanhood in a society where patriarchy and apartheid often conspired to degrade and enslave women economically, domestically, politically, traditionally and sexually. "

— Washington Post Book World



"Her vivid descriptions of Xhosa customs unfold not as an anthropologist's field study but as a memory etched from experience."

— Publisher's Weekly

Copyright © 2014 Sindiwe Magona  

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