Hunger for Freedom – Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela


Described by author Anna Trapido as a ‘gastro political’ script rather than a recipe book – Hunger for Freedom: Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela chronicles the life of former President Mandela – through memory and identity located in the preparation and consumption of food. From early memories of Nosisa Mandela’s Mahewu (fermented maize drink), scones by Mrs Harris , Thayanayagee Pillay’s Chicken Curry at the Treason Trail to Graca Machel’s Caranguejo com Camra’o – the book reveals the role of food in the life of Nelson Mandela as nourishment for both body and soul.

food in the life of nelson mandela

Book Details 
Name:  Hunger for Freedom: Food in the life of Nelson Mandela
Author:  Anna Trapido
Original Publication: 2008
Publisher: Jacana Media in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation
ISBN:   1770095659

Dinner plates vary across South Africa as vastly as its natural and cultural landscape-but it was the comfort of a communal dish that laid the foundation of cross cultural friendships which inspired political alliances. The book reveals tales of shared meals- secret messages concealed in stacked roti – ‘soup with meat or without meat’ as a parable for the embodiment of the Freedom Charter and  Koeksisters made by Mrs Verwoerd. Trapido’s eloquent composition is a metaphor that portrays the life of Nelson Mandela like an onion. Domestic layers enclosed by political layers and like an onion it too- is one not without tears.[1]

A 232 page full colour paperback with annotated photographs. Recipes are documented as written by their authors so measurements vary accordingly. The book contains a total +/- 60 recipes.

Where to Get it…

  • request/ or find a copy in your local library.
  • or buy from Jacana Media ,, Exclusive Books (South Africa).
  • U.K. – Current Retail Price: £10.37
  • U.S.A. – Current Retail Price: $22.25

1 Trapido, Anna (2008). Food in the life of Nelson Mandela. Jacana Media


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