Award-winning writer. Authorized biographer Nelson Mandela
Sat., May 21, 2016 3:45-5:15 p.m.
At the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City.
I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts: Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, Vermont in 2014.
The value of making your enemy your friend by Charlene Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer
Lessons from Nelson Mandela we can apply in our lives and work
Talking about Nelson Mandela
Interview on Arise TV, Sunday, June 30 - start watching from 34 minutes into the show for a 13 minute interview in which I discuss Nelson Mandela and his legacy.
"Humans are strange animals. They leave out delectable birdseed, chattering free-range chickens, and aromatic garbage, but shoot when bears, encouraged by this plenty, wander closer... 'We underestimate the ability of wild animals and humans to get along,' says New Hampshire environmentalist David L. Eastman. 'But getting along also requires humans to behave.'"
Robben Island, my first book, dramatically revised, updated, new research & fresh pictures available in June 2013
Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela spent most of his years in prison. It's history mirrors not only the colonial conquest and settlement changes, war, dislocation, cruelty, despair and triumph of mainland SouthAfrica and the continent, but also how solutions were found. This book has chapters on the environment, shipwrecks, birdlife, fishing, the island as a leper colony, and Second World War naval intelligence site. Did you know that U-boats came into Cape Town harbor during that war? It tells of escapes and African chiefs, and of the prisoners jailed there from 1963 on as they contested apartheid. Nelson Mandela and the Rivonia trialists were among the first, the concrete floors they slept on were still not dry when they arrived. Within these pages is also a touching love story. It contains a brief guide to the Island for visitors.
As a journalist, an authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela, as well as a speech writer and ghostwriter, I have been privileged to witness the best in the great and had the time to ponder their flaws. I believe that it is in addressing failure, that the exceptional emerges.
Writing is a privileged profession: people allow us into their lives, they reveal their hearts bit-by-bit, they let us scratch through their records, go where they fear, and in the process, they too, rediscover themselves.
Current affairs writers are witnesses to history and so our responsibility to truth-telling and fairness is eternal.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, I covered anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa as a journalist before resigning to become an activist against apartheid. I also worked in Japan and Argentina. Publications I have worked for include the Los Angeles Times, Independent, Guardian, Washington Post, Le Monde, and others. As a television documentary maker I worked with Tony Burman at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Ted Koppel at ABC Nightline, and Ed Bradley at CBS 60 Minutes, and others. That work taught me the importance of visual cues.