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It has been 21 years since the dawn of democracy in South Africa. To mark the “coming of age” of the nation, Melanie Verwoerd and Sonwabiso Ngcowa travelled across South Africa collecting the life stories of young people born in 1994. These “born frees” relate their personal journeys, dreams and hopes for the future of the country. The brutally honest voices of these 21-year-olds, challenging and disturbing, as well as funny and hopeful, give an invaluable insight into modern day South Africa.
Melanie Verwoerd, political commentator and writer. When she married into the Verwoerd family, Nelson Mandela encouraged her to “use her surname and voice for the greater good”. She joined the ANC and in 1994 was elected as a Member of Parliament. In 2001 she was appointed as South African ambassador to Ireland. Other published works: The Verwoerd who toyi-toyied and Our Madiba: Stories and reflections of those who met Nelson Mandela. Sonwabiso Ngcowa, a writer and poet. Born in the Eastern Cape, his works were among the most popular of the Mobi-Books. His short stories are published in English and Xhosa. Ngcowa acts as a mentor in writing workshops, helping youths to develop their own texts. Other published works: In Search of Happiness (also translated into German).