Anna Trapido is the author of ‘Hunger for Freedom – The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela'. Simba joins Anne to discuss her book, which is a collection of all Madiba's favourite recipes from child hood to adult hood as told by members of his family and friends. Each recipe is accompanied by an incredibly special memory which Anne shares with us. Simba then gets a lesson in how to make three of Madiba's favourite dishes, traditional amasi, crab curry and peach cobbler.
Trapido describes to the book as “a gastro-political history with recipes” explaining thatHunger for Freedom is not an attempt to trivialize history (as some might assume) but rather a different way of looking at the past. Trapido says that “food tells you about who people are — socially, culturally and economically.”
“About a year ago, I was supposed to be reviewing a not very good Mandela biography for the Sunday Independent,” explains Trapido. “I began to realise how often there were foodie references that the author probably hadn’t even noticed. So I didn’t write the review, but wrote a piece on how I thought food was an interesting way of looking at Mandela’s life. And then I realised that the idea was worth more than a thousand words on a Sunday.”
Trapido put her proposal to the Mandela Foundation and with their full approval and backing set to work. All the people she approached — members of the Mandela family, including Madiba’s son by his first marriage, Makaziwe Mandela, who never gives interviews; high-ranking politicians and associates of the former president — opened their doors and their kitchens to her. Zinzi Mandela took Trapido to Maputo and showed her how to make the stuffed crab her father loves; Winnie Mandela invited Trapido to Sunday lunch to demonstrate a recipe she was struggling to get right; Farida Omar (Dullah Omar’s widow) demonstrated her chicken curry, and so it went on.
Hunger for Freedom – The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela is available from most bookstores