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Being Chris Hani’s Daughter

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Being Chris Hani’s Daughter

Lindiwe Hani discusses her book Being Chris Hani’s Daughter. (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

19th April 2017

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When Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and heir apparent to Nelson Mandela, was brutally slain in his driveway in April 1993, he left a shocked and grieving South Africa on the precipice of civil war. But to 12-year-old Lindiwe, it was the love of her life, her daddy, who had been shockingly ripped from her life.

In this intimate and brutally honest memoir, 36-year-old Lindiwe remembers the years she shared with her loving father, and the toll that his untimely death took on the Hani family. She lays family skeletons bare and brings to the fore her own downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction, a desperate attempt to avoid the pain of his brutal parting.

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While the nation continued to revere and honour her father’s legacy, for Lindiwe, being Chris Hani’s daughter became an increasingly heavy burden to bear.

For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more.

In a stunning turnaround, she faces her demons, not just those that haunted her through her addiction, but, with the courage that comes with sobriety, she comes face to face with her father’s two killers – Janus Walus, still incarcerated, and Clive Derby Lewis, released in 2015 on medical parole. In a breathtaking twist of humanity, while searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Award-winning journalist, Melinda Ferguson is the best-selling author of the addiction trilogy: Smacked, Hooked and Crashed. Her publishing imprint MFBooks Joburg was the recipient of the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Rape: A South African Nightmare by Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola.

Lindiwe Hani has worked in the communications field for the better part of ten years. Her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her daughter, Khaya. This is her first book.

 

Being Chris Hani’s Daughter is published by Jacana Media

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