This very unusual and intimate portrait of Zelda la Grange’s time with Nelson Mandela as his personal secretary is as heartbreaking as it is memorable. Zeldina, as Madiba chose to call her, was applying for a typist job in the new ANC government in 1994 when word came that the President’s office needed a typist. A young, white Afrikaner, Zelda became the youngest of the rainbow staff that served the President. In time, she grew to manage his schedule and accompany him on trips abroad.
There are numerous books about Nelson Mandela, but Good Morning, Mr. Mandela is the first by a trusted member of his inner circle. In addition to offering a rare close portrait, Zelda la Grange pays tribute to Madiba as she knew him–a teacher who gave her the most valuable lessons of her life.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa, La Grange, a white Afrikaner, feared the imprisoned Nelson Mandela as “a terrorist.” Yet she would become one of his most devoted associates for almost two decades. Inspiring and deeply felt, this book honours a great man’s lasting gift.