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How Nelson Mandela's Autobiography Was Smuggled Out Of Prison


Mac Maharaj (pictured below) tells the BBC's "Witness" how he smuggled Nelson Mandela's autobiography out of Robben Island prison in 1975. Mandela wrote the manuscript by night in his cell, and Maharaj, one of Mandela's closest allies in prison, painstakingly transcribed it the next day so there would be two copies. Bravely, he hid his copy among his study materials when he was released from prison. Maharaj is arguably the single reason that Mandela's international bestseller "Long Walk to Freedom" exists today - especially because the original draft written by Mandela was eventually discovered by prison guards. Maharaj tells the BBC about the importance of the political autobiography:

We were living in a society where the history of our struggle was not covered anywhere - not even in academia. Everything in history was the history about the white man. So that in itself was an exciting exercise to put down on paper the life of one man who was so central [to the struggle], and whose autobiography was really a political autobiography. One had a sense that Mandela had already become a national and international figure and that it would be an inspiration to read our history.

Hear Maharaj tell the incredible full story here.

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Photo courtesy of xNasozi.

#BuyBlack: 25 Black-Owned Businesses to Check Out on Black Friday

Our 2017 guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

This is our first gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop.

It's yet another year when America officially begins the holiday season on Thanksgiving tomorrow—a "celebration" that, for most folks, is a great day to spend time with family and to eat your fill.

For those that venture into the mission that is Black Friday shopping (kudos to you), it may be worth taking that moment to put your money where your mouth is and spend your coins on black-owned businesses.

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Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kommanda Obbs Favors ‘the African Dream’ Over Western Standards On His New Single ‘Mabelebele’

Listen to Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single.

The music on renowned Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single "Mabelebele" is largely inspired kwaito. For his vocals, the rapper opts for a more melodic style on the track.

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Photo: Daniel Dorsa.

The Black Indie Artist You Need to Listen to This Month: Vagabon

Vagabon is special.

This new series will feature the most exciting independent and alternative artists from Africa and its diaspora. Black artists are complex and multidisciplinary. Twice a month, we'll introduce the hottest, boldest musicians out there that you need to listen to.

Special people have the hardest time. They see so much, are aware of so much. And indeed, Vagabon is special.

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