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Saturday, September 3, 2011


(The cover of the book)

KZN writer/poet Kobie Korf has published her tribute to Nelson Mandela in a soft cover book titled The Heart of Nelson Mandela – His Life In Poetry. With design and layout by Dave Coburn, the sweeping praise poem is in English and Afrikaans and covers his life. It is accompanied by a CD recorded by voice artists Caroline Smart and Thomie Holtzhausen.

“It all started with the idea of a ‘birthday card’ on Madiba’s 90th birthday,” explains Kobie Korf, “but I quickly realized that it is taking its own way and would never be completed in time. This ‘card’ was finally completed last year and forwarded for his birthday. Again, it took its own course of being translated and then recorded.

“It became my own ‘long walk’,” she goes on to explain. “There were so many consents to be secured - photos, Mandela’s voice, music, the striking cover etc. but with the help of excellent co-workers like the SABC for recording, voice artists and advisors, the road became less steep. The end product is like a performed drama with Caroline Smart and Thomie Holtzhausen as voice artistes, the Durban Men’s Choir and recording engineer Tansen Nepaul adding the sound effects, Mandela’s reassuring voice, the Anthem, etc.”

Kobie Korf’s research started the day the first Long Walk to Freedom was published.

“It was such excitement to be part of the ‘research team’ as all our South Africans witnessed the history as it unfolded with Mandela released, him being the head of state and the path of his life,” says Kobie, who also reads some of the poetry. “So many books, internet, the Foundation – it is pouring out information, all at our fingertips…”

The book was supported by The Mint of Norway and The South African Gold Coin Exchange for the cover photo and the Nelson Mandela Foundation for consent to use illustrations, photos and voice recordings. Independent Newspapers and Wilson Mgobhozi provided photos and illustrations while Nico Jacobs handled the translation from Afrikaans.

The Heart of Nelson Mandela – His life in poetry with its accompanying CD is available at Adams in Musgrave, Carol’s in Glenwood Village, Books and Books in Durban North as well as airport outlets. ISBN: 978-0-620-50462-1.

The retail price at bookstores is R145. Printed and bound by Interpak Books, in Pietermaritzburg, it can also be ordered from the writer at R130 includes postage included. Kobie Korf can be contacted at 031 201 1129 or 084 582 8814 or email: