Thursday, 30 October 2008

'A Simple Freedom'

30 / 10 / 8

We met up with Masie and his wife Percy and her brother Eric last night to go to the book signing of Ahmed Kathrada’s new book called, 'A Simple Freedom'.
We all piled into his car and set off from Soweto to the swanky Hyde Park Shopping Centre. What a world of difference between these two places.
Masie navigated us brilliantly and we arrived hot and ruffled, but made our way to the Exclusive Book store for the launch.
We arrived slightly late and halfway through Mr. Kathrada’s speech. His book is full of quotes that he chose whilst in prison as meaning something to him (interestingly similar to our quest, but nary a Shakespearian quote in A Simple Freedom (as he explained to us in his house last week, he could fill another book with JUST quotes from Shakespeare, ‘There is just too much!’ he said)).

Masie was as excited as a schoolgirl winning the ‘X-Factor’ as he was surrounded by politicos and bigwigs from the South African ANC. He got a copy of the book and nervously stood in line to get it signed by Mr. Kathrada. I introduced his as the ‘young man who persisted in calling you for an interview’ and he warmly replied that it was ‘good to finally meet you.’ Which, needless to say, made Masie squeal once again in delight.

He was also thrilled to meet (and I must say I too let out a tiny squeal) Ms. Barbara Hogan, the new Minister of Health under the new president, Kgalema Motlanthe. In her short time on the job, she has quickly reversed course from the previous minister’s path and regained the support doctors and other experts in the fight against HIV / Aids. She also happens to be Mr. Kathrada partner.

We celebrated our excellent evening at Wandie’s Restaurant, famous and copied thorughout Soweto as an outstanding place for dinner (especially for the hungry vegetarians in the crowd). It is an ‘all you can eat’ buffet of African dinner. Which meant that I ate my weight in Chacalaka, my favourite South African dish. Along with pap, other salads, potatoes, and dessert. Ah, satisfying…….

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