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Conversations with myself is an attempt to demythologise Nelson Mandela and bring you nearer to the human being. The book is made up of extracts from letters, interviews and other personal writing by Mandela, depicting him as a man that made mistakes, has emotions, but learned from his experiences.
Initially I thought that I will be listening to moral lessons with not much of its content rooted in stories and history. I was pleasantly surprised. This book opened up a new understanding of Nelson Mandela the person.
I don't think John Kani is the right person to read this book. His accent sounds very West African, which threatened to alienate. I think there are quite a few good South African readers that could've performed the task. While I can hear that Kani tried his best to pronounce the Xhosa phrases, found in some places in the book, correctly, he failed miserably with the pronunciation of Afrikaans.
The audio book has one big bonus that makes it worthwhile all together. At the end some of the archival material of the actual interviews with Nelson Mandela has been added. You hear Mandela's own voice as he relates some of his experiences in life.
In the end I enjoyed this book. It seems it has the aim to "rebrand" Mandela from a saint to a human being.
It comes highly recommended to those who don't want another autobiography, but better insight in to the psyche of the former president of South Africa. I would recommend that you first listen to Mandela's "Long walk to Freedom" to get a framework of reference in which the events in this book can be placed.
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