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Download Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Nelson Mandelas Favorite African Folktales, by Nelson Mandela Click for printable size audiobook cover
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Winner of the 2010 Audie for Audiobook of the Year, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales is an extraordinary audiobook featuring Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson,Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, and Alfre Woodard, with a special message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and original music by South African legends by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela, directed by Alfre Woodard. The audiobook was a truly international affair, recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, and Johannesburg. The stories were chosen by the Nobel Laureate himself, from every region of Africa.

“We hope this audiobook will be enjoyed by people of all ages across the globe, increasing awareness of Africa’s rich cultures while creating a better future for South Africa’s most vulnerable children,” said ANSA executive director Sharon Gelman.

In his original foreword for the folktales, Nelson Mandela wrote, “It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller may never die in Africa, that all the children of the world may experience the wonder of books.” The audiobook brings his vision full circle, as these timeless tales return to the oral tradition to be heard around the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A treasure for everyone in the family.”

    Bill Cosby

  • “In tales such as these, the dream-like, unpredictable symbology and sometimes cruel morality of myths resonate, and, in Mandela’s words, the ‘gritty essence of Africa’ shines through in stories with universal themes.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a rich collection.” 

    School Library Journal

  • “The African landscape plays a vital role in each of these thirty-two lively folktales.” 


  • Winner of the Audie Award Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Roberta | 2/19/2014

    " I listened to rather than read these African tales, narrated by artists such as Matt Damon, Whoopi Golberg, and Alan Rickman. They were introduced by Desmond Tutu. I have been a storyteller and especially enjoyed the stories which seemed familiar to me, such as the story of the hare, Hlakanyana, so much like Brer Rabbit. Though you may not care for all of the tales, this audio book has much to enjoy with the variety of readers and really nice music. One of my favorite parts was Whoopi Goldberg reading "Asmodeus and the Bottler of Djinns" (or geniis). Proceeds of this project benefit South African children impacted by AIDS. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jean | 2/15/2014

    " Makes for great listening. Interspersed with African music and read by familiar voices, this is entertaining and educational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Carlotta* | 2/8/2014

    " Menzione speciale per l'ultima fiaba, "La madre che divenne polvere", davvero bellissima. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 2/4/2014

    " This would be a great book for children. I enjoyed the stories from a cultural perspective, more so than from a moralistic one. Obviously, the problem being that I'm a little too old for childish preaching. But, I would love to read this book to my children someday. "

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