'He's not a sell-out' - How Madiba gig changed Manaka's view on Tata
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.
Manaka 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, Manaka said that Mama might have sent her a sign to get rid of any bitterness.
⚡️ “#LettersFromMandela Remembering and celebrating Nelson Mandela today on his would be 100th Birthday with the letters he wrote to his family and other people while in prison for 27 years. These letters will be read tonight at 8pm. https://t.co/hYd2lSl9V5 pic.twitter.com/hcJFy4wFR0— The Market Theatre (@MarketTheatre) July 18, 2018
"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."
Manaka and her sister Dineo 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."