In the preface to her autobiography Phyllis Ntantala tells us that “Like Trotsky, I did not leave home without the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I came from a family of landed gentry in the Transkei”.
This is what makes her vivid and spirited story so special. Born in the 1920s, Phyllis Ntantala lived her early life in a world of relative privelege. After school at Healdtown and Lovedale, she attended the University of Fort Hare – all premier educational institutions for Africans – where she met her future husband, A.C. Jordan. Her gripping story is not of a struggle to escape from poverty and obscurity but of a creative and articulate black woman’s search for identity and fulfilment.
Of original interest is the fact that her world cut across apartheid. In the early 1960s, as the apartheid net tightened in South Africa, the Jordans decided to emigrate to the United States. But this did not prove to be the escape to a land of freedom and opportunity they had hoped, and the racial discrimination suffered in the USA was, sadly, only too familiar to the Jordans.
Ntantala describes evocatively and with searing honesty her life of rich expereince as the wife and mother of famous men – the pioneering scholar, A.C. Jordan, and the ANC activist and intellectual, Pallo Jordan. Her politics and her feminism have been grounded in the need to carve out a space for her own life, her own story.
|Parameters of Book: Book|
|Sub-title:||The Autobiography of Phyllis Ntantala|
|Colour:||Black & White|