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'He's not a sell-out' - Madiba gig changes Manaka Ranaka's view on Tata

Manaka Ranaka
Image: Steve Tanchel. © Sowetan S Magazine

While many may be touched by the tributes about former president Nelson Mandela during his centenary celebrations this week‚ performing in a theatre production about the statesman's life has led to Manaka Ranaka dropping all bitterness she once had for Tata.

Ranaka was left fuming and walked out of a screening after a documentary on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life earlier this year. This after several allegations were made that Mandela had betrayed the nation and was a "sell-out" after it was claimed he chose the ANC over Winnie.

"I'm so angry at my elders. This doccie just confirmed a lot I was speculating / suspecting/ assuming‚" she wrote at the time.

But after agreeing to be part of a tribute called Letters From Mandela‚ Ranaka said that Mama might have sent her a sign to get rid of any bitterness.

"I don't hate Mandela. I don't hate the man. I don't think that he was a sell-out like so many others like to believe. He had to do what he had to do. The irony is that as mad as I was at him because of the outcomes of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela‚ I was reading a letter to his daughters about their mother. It is such a touching letter from the pit of his soul."

"God works in mysterious ways and he has made me forgive him for what I thought he had done wrong to Winnie. This might be the signal from Mama to forgive Papa."

Ranaka and her sister Dineo Ranaka played the role of Mandela's daughters in the production and said it was a special moment that she will forever cherish.

"That man and myself have never formally met but I have been in spaces where he was. I have fond memories of him. I remember as a child we sang a song about what a great day it would be when Mandela was released from prison‚ not if‚ but when. He has been such a strong influence in my life and I am honoured to be a part of paying tribute to him."

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