"Fanele Mbali was swept up in the high-tide of expectations following the 1961 launch of Mkhonto weSizwe (MK). He was among the generation of African youth who had grown up under the system of apartheid, which became government policy a year or two after they began their schooling. Like all poor peasant families in the Eastern Cape and elsewhere, Mbali’s family had been broken up as first his father, then his mother, migrated to the urban areas in search of employment to support the family. Like many of his generation he was raised by grandparents living in the countryside. His was the generation that witnessed the laying of the legislative foundation for the police state South Africa became after 1964. After two years at the University College of Fort Hare, when the call to take up arms to overthrow oppression came, he responded along with hundreds of other young men and women." - Pallo Jordan

"The life of revolutionaries is one of perpetual motion, there is no getting off and letting go because it would amount to a betrayal of self. Underground, flight, life in exile, extreme deprivation, working to go back home, capture, escape, liberation, homecoming and the difficult transit into the new South Africa and the new struggle against the legacy of apartheid, corruption, poverty and inequalities." - Fanele Mbali

Biography of Fanele Mbali

The author was born in 1937 in eQolweni, a small village in the Eastern Cape. He joined the ANC underground and was part of the first group of students to be sent abroad to study. As a member of the ANC military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, he remained in exile until 1991.

Before he joined the ANC in exile, he qualified as a teacher at Fort Hare. He was stationed in Southern, Central and East Africa and studied in the Soviet Union and Australia as well as. He taught English Language and Literature and Commerce in Lesotho. He also taught Economics, Economic History and Development Economics at the University of Transkei (later called the Walter Sisulu University). Here he acted as Head of Department and established the local branch of the National Tertiary Education Staff Union (NTESU) of which he was President for many years. He is at present Treasurer General of the ANC Veterans League.