From the Archives: Charlene Smit Remembers the First Time She Met Mandela
In an article sourced from the archives of the Mail & Guardian, Charlene Smit, author of the new authorised biography Mandela: In Celebration of a Great Life, writes about her memories of Nelson Mandela’s release and the first time she interviewed him:
I love to cook and so there came a point during the struggle, where I gave up full-time journalism, became a full-time activist, part of the underground, and after long, endless meetings, would cook for strugglistas.
Murphy Morobe loved my veal Marengo, Cyril Ramaphosa would call at 11pm after going to mines and speaking to workers and I would go into the kitchen and prepare a midnight meal. Neil Coleman loved all my cooking and left hair-dye stains in a basin.
Mohammed Valli Moosa and I would argue at 2am about whether the word “fascist” was necessary in a press release meant for the European Union. I would prepare trays of biscuits and coffee for deep underground United Democratic Front meetings at my home.