When Hope and History Rhyme

Amina Cachalia

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01 February 2013

‘Of all [Amina’s] distinctions, achievements, the greatest is her identity, life-long, active in past and present, as freedom fighter, now needed as much, believe me, in the aftermath of freedom as in the Struggle.’ – Nadine Gordimer

The ninth of eleven children born to political activists Ebrahim and Fatima Asvat, Amina Cachalia’s political activism and championing of women’s rights was almost a preordained path with her father’s connection with Mahatma Gandhi, a family tradition that started with her father’s explanation of racial discrimination.

When Hope and History Rhyme explores Amina’s remarkable life from her early childhood to the women’s march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956, to her banning, in 1962, for 15 years, and the trials and tribulations when her husband, Yusuf, was placed under house arrest for 25 years.

The book includes details of Amina’s close relationship with Nelson Mandela, from their first meeting to their poignant encounters after his release from prison in 1990.