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p. 1105. Sophiatown sophisticatelocked

  • Elleke Boehmer


The cultural diversity of 1950s Kofifi or Sophiatown and the intellectual flowering that took place there was possibly as important to Mandela's make-up as any inheritance from Gandhi. ‘Sophiatown sophisticate’ considers the influence of an early adulthood spent in Sophiatown. It was here that Mandela acquired the eloquent, street savvy, smartly dressed image for which he became fondly known. Mingling in those streets, he developed a vision of political success: that Africa belonged to the modern state and the future. It was that vision that sustained him through his long time in prison. Sophiatown allowed Mandela to adopt an intensive urban involvement.

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