Madiba receives children's version of his book

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Johannesburg - Former President Nelson Mandela on Thursday received copies of the official children's version of his best-selling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

One of his great-grandchildren, Ziyanda Manaway, presented him with the English and the IsiXhosa versions of the book at his home.

At the launch of the book on Wednesday, Madiba asked Ziyanda to read the following message: "Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. The system of apartheid robbed many children of their right to a decent education and of the joy of reading.

"This joy is one that I have treasured all my life, and it is one I wish for all South Africans.

"We are happy that all children are now able to read in the language of their choice, the story of the long road we traveled for freedom in South Africa. The children of South Africa need to know this history."

The book abridged by celebrated South African author Chris Van Wyk and illustrated by Cape Town-based artist Paddy Bouma has been published by Macmillan in all 11 official South African languages as well as in Portuguese and American English.

The book was released to mark International Literacy Week and would be released internationally this month.