Memoirs of a Born-Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation

Apartheid isn’t over—so Malaika Wa Azania boldly argues in Memoirs of a Born Free, her account of growing up black in modern-day South Africa. Malaika was born in late 1991, as the white minority government was on its way out, making her a “Born Free”—the name given to the generation born after the end of apartheid. But Malaika’s experience with institutionalized racism offers a view of South Africa that contradicts the implied racial liberation of the so-called Rainbow Nation. Recounting her upbringing in a black township racked by poverty and disease, the death of a beloved uncle at the hands of white police, and her alienation at multiracial schools, she evokes a country still held in thrall by de facto apartheid. She takes us through her anger and disillusionment with the myth of black liberation to the birth and development of her dedication to the black consciousness movement, which continues to be a guiding force in her life. A trenchant, audacious, and ultimately hopeful narrative, Memoirs of a Born Free introduces an important new voice in South African—and, indeed, global—activism.

Additional information


Author Picture

Malaika wa Azania

Malaika wa Azania, (born 19 October 1991) born Malaika Lesego Samora Mahlatsi, is a South African writer, political commentator, essayist, blogger, columnist and television presenter. She is also a self-proclaimed feminist. In 2014, she published her first book “Memoirs of a Born Free.” The book describes her family history, beginning with her grandmother’s life, then her mother, and finally her own. The book is framed as a letter to the ANC to both thank and criticize the party on the development of South Africa since 1994. Primarily, wa Azania details her disillusionment with the concept of the “Rainbow Nation” and being a “Born Free.”

Leave a Reply

Comments (