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Our Generation

This is Zubeida Jaffer’s personal life story, seamlessly woven into the story of the struggle for democracy in South Africa. This autobiographical account spans 15 years, starting in 1980 when Zubeida was a young reporter, to post-1994 and the TRC hearings, where she testified.

This story is shaped around the relationship of Zubeida and her daughter, Ruschka, which makes it a unique struggle account. Political experiences are interspersed with talk about babies, her passionate love for her husband in hiding and the torment of a relationship unravelling. She bravely talks about never having time for herself because of the heavy demands made on activists.

She also writes about her problematic relationship with Islam, the religion she was brought up in, but also the religion she questioned for its sexist rules. The title has its climax in Zubeida’s testimony to the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission and her final break down. Her story is driven by an impulse towards joy – in the end she triumphs as an individual, a woman, a freedom fighter, a writer and a mother.

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