Paperback / softback
April 8, 2011
27 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.6 Pounds (US)
$14.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

No Bread for Mandela

Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64

When Ahmed Kathrada was released from prison in 1989 together with Walter Sisulu and Raymond Mhlaba after serving twenty-six years of a life sentence, more than 5,000 people came to Soweto to give him and his colleagues a hero's welcome. A veteran of the anti-apartheid movement who was imprisoned with Nelson Mandela and other African leaders, Kathrada had been one of the famous Rivonia trial defendants and incarcerated as a political prisoner on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor prison.

No Bread for Mandela is the gripping story of Kathrada's lifelong battle for justice in South Africa. At age seventeen, Kathrada left school to become a youth organizer for the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council and assisted with uniting various opposition groups under the leadership of the African National Congress. Arrested in 1963 at the age of thirty-four on charges of sabotage and conspiracy against the South African government, Kathrada was sentenced to life in prison. Although he, Nelson Mandela, and other African prisoners were serving the same sentence, under prison regulations of the apartheid regime, Kathrada, who is of Indian descent, received better treatment. Outraged at the inequities of apartheid and unwilling to concede defeat even in prison, Kathrada and his fellow prisoners continued the struggle for equality and justice. In prison, the most extreme form of protest and struggle was hunger strikes. Kathrada also was instrumental in organizing a covert communication network between prisoners in different sections of the prison and with the outside world.

This riveting memoir, spanning the history of modern South Africa, sheds new light on the struggle against apartheid. No Bread for Mandela is the moving and insightful account of a man who served among a loyal cadre of the African National Congress and helped in shaping his country's history. Kathrada's life is an inspiration and a model for everyone who seeks peace, justice, and reconciliation.

About the Authors

Ahmed Kathrada was born in South Africa in 1929. After his release from prison in 1989, he was elected as a member of parliament and served as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela. In 1994, he was elected chairperson of the Robben Island Council. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.


"Ahmed Kathrada has been so much part of my life over such a long period that it is inconceivable that I could allow him to write his memoirs without me contributing something. Our stories have become so interwoven that the telling of one without the voice of the other being heard somewhere would have led to an incomplete narration."—Nelson Mandela

"Delightful and often amusing anecdotes of the life of a very self-effacing and yet deeply committed freedom fighter."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"A book of questions and answers. . . . When humanity leaves the room, what do you do if you're left inside? The extraordinary strength and almost inconceivable grace in these pages are as mind-blowing as the justice and peace Ahmed Kathrada helped bring about."—Bono

"Kathy adds that rich perspective to the political struggle, including his leadership role in the Passive Resistance Campaign and his passionate commitment."—Booklist

"An intimate, welcome first-person account of a portion of South African history that remains foggy to many American readers."—Kirkus Reviews

"Kathrada's memoir is a vivid behind-the-scenes look at the life of a political activist and prisoner."—Library Journal

"It is highly recommend for students of history, race relations, and political science."—Library Journal

"Kathrada's story is an important one that describes the persecution of Indians and all who opposed Southern African apartheid. It will appeal to serious readers of modern African history, and its lessons about the high cost of freedom and the heroes who paid its price will resonate with all."—ForeWord Magazine

"Providing an enlightening view on the South African struggle against apartheid, Ahmed Kathrada paints an amazing portrait of what it was like to be a minority in a dominantly white province. Readers will be struck by the integrity Kathrada has maintained throughout his life."—Deseret News

"For those seeking memoir about those who fight against racism and racial injustice around the world, No Bread for Mandela proves to be a fine pick."—Midwest Book Review

"An amazingly detailed version of his journey to the heart of anti-apartheid politics."—H-Net Review

9780813133751 : no-bread-for-mandela-kathrada-mandela-chaskalson
Paperback / softback
448 Pages
$14.95 USD

Other Titles by Ahmed Kathrada

A Simple Freedom

Ahmed Kathrada, Tim Couzens, introduction by Nelson Mandela
Mar 2016 - University Press of Kentucky
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Other Titles by Nelson Mandela

A Simple Freedom

Ahmed Kathrada, Tim Couzens, introduction by Nelson Mandela
Mar 2016 - University Press of Kentucky
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