Writing your own biography may be challenging in a number of ways. Firstly, it is difficult to document your entire life in just a few pages and secondly, you are effectively sharing your private life with many strangers, who might at some stage use it to discredit your reputation. However, it seems like Dr Mamphela Ramphele has shrugged off all those worries in her autobiography titled A Passion for Freedom.
The book is set in 35 chapters where she details important events and her life lessons. In a typical autobiographical set-up, the book starts with her childhood up until her current professional adult life.
What makes the book interesting is in the way she details how she got into activism and politics during the height of apartheid rule for someone who was meant to go to university to study medicine.
There are different themes in the book, however, the one that truly resonated with me is how the scribe teaches young black professional women to take pride in rocking their natural hair. Often times when a black woman goes with their natural hair, they are seen as “untidy and unprofessional”. However, Dr Ramphele shows in this book that she had the courage to throw away her wig and rock her natural hair even in the so-called “professional” space
Although the book is well-written, I found that there was no necessity to have so many chapters, as I believe that some of the chapters could have easily been merged.
Regardless of the positive message that comes with Dr Ramphele’s story, while reading this book, one also gets a sense that she is trying a little bit too much to show that her relationship with Steve Biko was more than that of colleagues as she always finds a way to include Biko in most of her conversations even when it is not needed.
Overall, this biography teaches one to always give their best shot at whatever they channel their energy on. Dr Ramphele is the epitome of a real go-getter.