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EXCERPT | ‘I had a new disguise’ – Kumi Naidoo evades apartheid cops in Letters to My Mother

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Letters to My Mother: The Making of a Troublemaker by Kumi Naidoo.(Jacana)
Letters to My Mother: The Making of a Troublemaker by Kumi Naidoo.(Jacana)

BOOK: Letters to My Mother: The Making of a Troublemaker by Kumi Naidoo (Jacana)

Kumi Naidoo’s memoir, Letters to My Mother: The Making of a Troublemaker (Jacana), tells the story of a man who was a member of the anti-apartheid underground and a Rhodes scholar, who later worked for South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission in 1994 and went on to become director of Greenpeace and secretary general of Amnesty International. Growing up in apartheid-era Chatsworth, his mother’s suicide when he was just 15 spurred him into action against apartheid. In this excerpt from Letters to My Mother, Naidoo tells of evading the apartheid authorities even as he wrote his university exams. “I want to share this excerpt,” he writes, “because it tells of a time I almost got caught and highlights the courage of several people who put themselves at great risk to help me.”

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