Child Of This Soil – My Life as a Freedom Fighter


LETLAPA MPHAHLELE, Apla Commander, is that rarest of creatures: a military man with a sensitive, seeking soul. In Child of this Soil, Mphahlele tells his story, giving us an insider’s view into the heart of the armed struggle. After a childhood marked by a questing, rebellious nature, the young Letlapa flees South Africa in search of his destiny. His exile will not end for many years, as he embarks on the turbulent, nomadic life of a guerrilla: swept from one end of Africa to the other, migrating from refugee camp to prison cell to High Command.

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The life of a revolutionary who battled against apartheid in South Africa as a guerrilla for the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Pan African Congress, is detailed in this memoir. From his military training in Guinea and Tanzania to his underground activities in Lesotho and South Africa, Letlapa Mphahlele spent much of his life in exile or on the run. His experiences offer a glimpse into the living conditions of guerrilla soldiers and include an array of characters, some of whom have gone on to play a prominent role in current South African politics. More than a political history, this book is also a personal journey, written with humor, intimacy, and lyricism.


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