Download Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend Audiobook

Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend Audiobook, by Christo Brand Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Christo Brand Narrator: Narrator Info Added Soon Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2014 ISBN: 9781481573313
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Raised in a multiethnic farming community, Afrikaner Christo Brand was confused and saddened when he first confronted the realities of South African apartheid. Conscripted into the military at eighteen, Brand chose to serve as a prison guard rather than embrace the brutality and danger inherent in the work of soldiers and policemen. Assigned to the maximum security facility on remote Robben Island, Brand was given charge of the country’s most infamous inmate: Nelson Mandela.

For twelve years Brand watched Mandela scrub floors, empty his toilet bucket, grieve over the deaths of family and friends, yet remain as strong as any freedom fighter in history. Won over by Madiba’s charm and authentic concern for the well-being of others, Brand became Mandela’s confidant and at times accomplice. Celebrating triumphs and suffering through many setbacks, the two men formed an unlikely bond, one that would endure until Mandela’s death.

Told with candor and reverence, Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend is both a meditation on friendship and a moving testament to the dedication, determination, and, most of all, humanity exuded by one of the world’s great leaders.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Warrant Officer Brand reinforced my belief in the essential humanity even of those who had kept me behind bars for the previous twenty-seven and a half years.”

    Nelson Mandela

  • “A perfect example of how it is possible for love to triumph over everything, for respect to triumph over everything.”

    Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela

  • “A story of the most astonishing, unlikely friendship. A must-read.”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “An honest and straightforward account of a significant relationship between two very different men in an impossibly difficult situation…[Brand] is owed more than a mite of national respect.”

    Noseweek magazine (South Africa)

  • “Brand’s position on the opposite side of the bars from his famous charge gives him a fascinating perspective on an oft-told story. He paints a vivid picture of prison life in South Africa at the time, with its racial discrimination—no bread was given to black prisoners—and the guards’ own isolation from news of the outside world. The central focus of this extraordinary book, however, is a remarkable friendship that bridged age, race, and politics, as Mandela went from prisoner to secret negotiator and eventually became a revered president.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Recommended for young adult readers: Teens who know apartheid history will appreciate this young man’s perspective and the story of his transformation and closeness with the great leader.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The prose is straightforward…[and] the lack of flowery language makes it refreshingly easy to focus on the story without distraction. This isn’t a full biography of Mandela, so those looking for more information about his politics, party, or background should seek out supplemental materials. The author quickly recounts Mandela’s general biography, including the Rivonia trial for sabotage that landed him in prison, but this is really a tale of two men and their shared humanity in an inhumane place. A worthy addition to the canon of Mandela literature that details a relationship that many knew about but few truly understood.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • "[A] valuable addition to the writings about imprisonment during the apartheid era…written by a fine man.”

    Ahmed Kathrada, former political advisor to Nelson Mandela

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week in October 2014

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About the Author

Christo Brand is the son of a farm foreman from rural South Africa. He served as Nelson Mandela’s prison guard for twelve years, primarily on Robben Island. Today, he still works on Robben Island, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. As manager of the site’s retail outlets, Christo has been known to reminisce to visitors about his time guarding Mandela and even to give the occasional tour. He lives in Cape Town with his wife, Estelle, and son, Heindrick. His eldest son, Riaan, passed away in 2005.