Film review: Dear Mandela


One of my deep concerns in returning to South Africa is to see how well apartheid has been eradicated – in people’s hearts and pocketbooks. The documentary film described below doesn’t sound very encouraging.  I have not seen it but if  you have an opportunity to see it, please comment on how it affected you.

Following the efforts of a South African housing rights group, the documentary “Dear Mandela” illustrates how fresh injustices have succeeded the inequality once enforced by apartheid. The group, Abahlali baseMjondolo*, advocates for Durban shack dwellers who are threatened by a proposed law that would permit rapid evictions. Replacement housing doesn’t emerge, except for crude “transit camps” far from the city center. Government and police representatives stonewall.

South Africa’s comedown from post-apartheid unity has been going on for a while, but “Dear Mandela” usefully outlines the forces of exclusion and generational shifts that have arisen. The tensions over urban development echo experiences in cities the world over. Yet the enabling role played by the African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela, represents a special disappointment

Excerpt from The New York Times,

September 21, 2012

*The people of Mjondolo”



My husband and I spent 22 years working with African young people in South Africa under Apartheid, which deepened my passion for the disenfranchised. During regular returns to the US I earned my MA in Communications at Wheaton Graduate School. Later I became head of publications for Partners International and edited a quarterly magazine. In the 90's I directed the AD2000 Women's Track networking with thousands of international women leaders in Christian ministry. I have written/published twelve books on missions, biography, fiction, most recently two biographical novels about Dr. Katharine Bushnell, nineteenth century crusader against what is known today as trafficking. Daughters of Deliverance and The Queen's Daughters are available in Kindle as well as print on Amazon. I was married to Allen, now deceased, my lifelong sweetheart. We had four sons,( one deceased,) one daughter, and 18 grandchildren. How can I help but praise God for the full life He's given me, and the opportunities even in my senior years, to live purposefully.

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