Harry Gwala

Listed in: African Studies · History · Biography · Literary Studies




Learning from Robben Island · Govan Mbeki's Prison Writings
By Govan Mbeki · Introduction by Colin Bundy · Foreword by Harry Gwala

“South Africa has jailed so many gifted men and women that there already exists a sizeable body of prison writing…The essays by Govan Mbeki which comprise this book add to this distinguished list. Yet they differ in important respects from all others: they were written, circulated and preserved in prison. They were never intended for publication but to be read by other prisoners; their aim is not to share an experience but to educate politically. They are remarkable documents.

Learning From Robben Island is an extraordinary selection of Mbeki's essays written, for the most part, between the late 1970s and mid 1980s…[It] bears testimony to the endurance of the human spirit, and, in Colin Bundy's words, ‘marks a victory in the continuing contest between the pen and the sword.’”

Philip Steenkamp, The International Journal of African Historical Studies