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ZA COM NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2009/6-NMF_Dcard_V2_005-6




  • 1971-03-01 (Creation)

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1 handwritten page, foolscap size

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Page 2 of a 2 page letter written by Mandela to his daughter, Zenani on the occasion of her birthday.

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Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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Copyright held by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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haunted me for many months thereafter. Luckily, however, you soon cooled down and we parted peacefully. But for days I was lost in thought, wondering how I could show you that I had not failed you and the family.When I returned to South Africa in July 1962 I saw you and Zindzi twice and this was the last time we met. In 1964 you were brought to the Supreme Court in Pretoria and I was quite disappointed when you were not allowed to see me. I have been longing to see you ever since. You will be able to visit me in 1975 when you will have turned sixteen. But I am growing impatient and the coming five years seem longer than eternity.
What a lovely letter you wrote me last month! Merci beaucoup! I have started 1971 with a real bang. Yours was the first and only letter I got from the family this year and I read it over and over again. I shall keep it as a souvenir. It pleased me very much to know your subjects for this year and hope you will work hard right from the beginning of the year and pass. French is an important language. On the African continent more people speak French than English. Latin, Zulu, Physical Science, Maths and Geography are also useful and you should pay a great deal of attention to them. I was also pleased to hear that you take walks to the mountains and about the beautiful scenery that you describe.
I saw the note that you wrote at the back of the letter asking the postman to send the letter away at once and to “be like Elvis, go man, Go.” The music of Elvis is very lively and popular and I am glad to note that you are fond of it too. I hope that you also love the music of Miriam Makheba, Mohapeloa, Caluza, Tyamzashe, Paul Robeson, Beethoven, [Tchaikovsky] . What is even more important, I trust that one day you will be able to compose, sing and play your own music, or do you prefer to be a ballet star in addition to being a scientist, doctor or lawyer?
What games do you play? Basket ball, swimming or athletics, especially track events (i.e. running) would keep you healthy and strong, and give you the pleasure of helping your college win victories. Try your luck, darling.May this letter bring you the same joy and happiness that yours gave me.
Give my love to Zindzi, Maki, Kgatho, and abazala Andile, Vuyani, Kwayiyo and Maphelo, and of course to you and Mummy.
Lots of love and plenty of kisses.

Yours affectionately,

Miss Zeni Mandela
8115 Orlando West

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