A Life's Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala by Phyllis Ntantala

By Phyllis Ntantala

"Like Trotsky, i didn't depart domestic with the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I come from a kin of landed gentry . . . [and] can have selected the trail of convenience and defense, for even in apartheid South Africa, there's nonetheless that course should you will collaborate. yet I selected the trail of fight and uncertainty."--from the PrefaceBorn into the small social elite of black South Africa, Phyllis Ntantala didn't face the grinding poverty so popular to different South African blacks. as an alternative, her fight used to be that of an artistic, articulate lady looking achievement and justice in a land that attempted to disclaim her both.The widow of Xhosa author and historian A.C. Jordan and mom of African nationwide Congress chief Z. Pallo Jordan, she and her kinfolk skilled a interval of super switch in South Africa and in addition within the usa, the place they moved in the course of the Sixties. She discovers similarities within the international locations, together with the confidence of power.Anchored in heritage and tradition, A Life's Mosaic sharply unearths the realm and the folks of South Africa. because the tale of a political exile, it represents the dislocations that experience triggered common affliction within the moment 1/2 the 20th century. Phyllis Ntantala discusses the cruelty of racism, the cynicism of political options, and the hopes of these who reside in either an international of exile and an international of desires.

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Extra info for A Life's Mosaic: The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala (Perspectives on Southern Africa, No 49)

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We would sit half-way between the two homesteads, satisfying ourselves with fleeting sights of what was going on. It was years later, when I was at Fort Hare, that I told Tata I had never seen an uMtshilo and would love to see one. ' he asked. 'Of course not. ' Fortunately, for me, there was an initiation school that year in one of the neighbouring villages, and by special request, one Mtshilo was staged for my benefit, even though the season had not yet started. When I saw it, I knew why these dances provoked so much excitement and why the good dancers from each school became famous for generations after.

A month after I had been promoted, I fell ill and had to be away from school. I cried and cried, fearing I would be sent back to Standard 1. It had been arranged that I should go to Colosa to my aunt Agnes, to be nursed. I refused, for if I went my attendance would be affected and Vuyiswa and Noma-Indiya would leave me behind. So an arrangement was made that as soon as I was better, I would attend school at Colosa and my attendance could be transferred. Only when I had been assured of this did I agree to go to Colosa.

Even when they went into her room to look at themselves in the big, tall mirror, they walked in gingerly, making sure that their skirts did not touch anything. They were excited about us and called each one of us by a nickname. Granny was Gleni (a corruption of Granny), Somhlophe was Cikicane or Chiki, Ntangashe was Rhinirhini, I was Nomfilazana or Filifili or Nogqaza, names I still love to this very day. They would hug and shower us with kisses when they came. Ntangashe did not quite like this.

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