Michael Dingake’s Memoirs Better to Die On One’s Feet

PUBLICATION OF MICHAEL DINGAKE’S MEMOIRS ‘BETTER TO DIE ON ONE’S FEET’

Michael Dingake’s book “Better to die on one’s feet” will be published

in the next month by South African History Online (SAHO), whose CEO is Omar Badsha. This is Dingake’s second book of memoirs, the initial one being published by International Defence and Aid Fund in 1987, called “My Struggle Against Apartheid”. The present book will be a major source on struggle history, covering campaigns of the legal ANC as well as the period of underground, MK, imprisonment on Robben Island and subsequent release.

SAHO is to be congratulated for publishing this work and it has a special importance now, for Dingake is a citizen of Botswana. It is a powerful reminder of how citizens of neighbouring states contributed to the achievement of our liberation.

It is sometimes said that political prisoners’ memoirs tend to be written in a formulaic style with the authors reciting the entire history of the struggle and describing their own role in very unimaginative ways. In contrast, Dingake’s writing is beautiful. The work was edited by Professor David Levey who managed to tighten the prose without losing anything of Dingake’s unique voice.

The book will be launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on the evening of 11 August, with Dingake in conversation with Ahmed Kathy Kathrada. I will also be making some brief remarks, having been involved in the publication process for some years.

The event will be jointly hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation and SAHO.

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