Women Surviving Apartheid's Prisons (Paperback)
In 1969, South Africa’s apartheid government arrested anti-apartheid leaders and activists nationwide for a key planned show trial. Among them were seven women, three of whom (including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela) have since died. This book by South African journalist Shanthini Naidoo uses rich interview material to share the previously unknown stories of the four imprisoned women who are still living: Joyce Sikhakhane-Rankin, Rita Ndzanga, Shanthie Naidoo, and Nondwe Mankahla. These four freedom fighters were held in solitary confinement for more than a year and subjected to brutal torture in a bid to force them to testify against their comrades. But they refused to do so, which forced the whole trial effort to collapse. Women Surviving Apartheid’s Prisons explores how women from different oppressed communities in South Africa defied traditional gender expectations and played a key role in the overthrow of Apartheid.
About the Author
Author Shanthini Naidoo is a former journalist on South Africa’s Sunday Times who now works in content marketing. She has also worked for The TimesO magazine. Naidoo lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two daughters. Foreword writer Donna Bryson’s rich career as a foreign correspondent culminated in service as AP’s bureau chief in South Africa, 2008-12. Her first book, It’s a Black-White Thing, explored how students in post-Apartheid South Africa dealt with their many remaining race issues. Her second book, Home of the Brave, describes how a small Colorado town created a welcoming community for war veterans. She lives in Denver.
"This book does the tangible work of elevating the many untold stories and lives of women in the struggle for democracy in South Africa. As one turns the pages, you are left stirred with visceral emotions because we are these women, and they are us. This work is important in the collective healing of the wounds in our hearts." —Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Member of South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality
"An eloquent salute to the women whose shoulders we walk on. A vital reminder." —Ferial Haffajee, former editor, HuffPost South Africa
"A vital slice of South African history. Naidoo beckons these forgotten women back to center-stage to remind us, achingly, of what true courage and sacrifice mean." —Michele Magwood, former books editor, The Sunday Times (South Africa)
"Women Surviving Apartheid’s Prisons is a compelling, heart-breaking, and inspiring work about a largely ignored side to the anti-apartheid/national democratic revolution in South Africa. So many of the stories that we hear or read about in connection with South Africa focus on great men. Taking nothing away from them, Women Surviving Apartheid’s Prisons examines the South African revolution from the point of view of women, and in this case, women with whom many of us outside of South Africa's borders are unfamiliar. That makes this a must-read!" —Bill Fletcher, Jr. Executive editor, globalafricanworker.com, past president, TransAfrica Forum
"Examines the South African revolution from the point of view of women, and in this case, women with whom many of us outside of South Africa’s borders are unfamiliar. That makes this a must-read!" —Bill Fletcher, Jr., former president, TransAfrica Forum
"Recounting Herstories would be on time, anytime, but it is especially so as we also mark the 100th Anniversary of the Suffragette Movement in the U.S. and update the efforts of Black American women who, like the imprisoned women freedom fighters in apartheid South Africa, were initially not included." —Charlayne Hunter-Gault, rights activist, former anchor for PBS
"These women's... struggles are more relevant today than ever as young women in the U.S. and around the globe are fighting at the forefront of movements for climate justice, reproductive justice and against white supremacy and police violence." —Dr. Barbara Ransby, historian, activist, award-winning author
"I am so grateful to Shanthini Naidoo for bringing to the forefront some of the women who gave up so much for their and their people’s freedom. Say their Names! Say Their Names! " —Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, activist and scholar of civil rights movement
"This is one of those books that make you shed tears in the middle of reading it. We are reminded of the sacrifices made by many of our people in the execution of the struggle for liberation." —Drt. Khulu Mbatha, The African Mirror
"That a book about our abraded history is so readable is a remarkable achievement.…Naidoo has produced one of the most important and gripping examinations of the gendered fight of apartheid and its human beings." —Janet Smith, Saturday Star, Johannesburg