Rage of Life
Born and bred in Sophiatown, Linda Malindi is no stranger to poverty and violence. After the killing of her only brother, the jailing and disappearance of her father, and the death of her mother when she is taken in by the family of a distant cousin, she is thrown out on the streets when the cousin and his wife accuse her of soliciting the services of a witchdoctor to infect their daughter with TB. Once more homeless and alone, pregnant and abandoned by the father of the child. Suddenly she feels the onset of the birth of her child. Desperate for help, she remembers being told that Ma-jaze, the notorious hardnosed owner of Angels One, might help her in her predicament. This is a turning point for Linda. Ma-jaze befriends her but she loses the baby. She finds solace in the arms of Simon Mangana, who through necessity left his wife and child in his homeland to seek work in the City of Gold. The course of their love affair is charged with turbulence, Simon is lured back to his village, a brief sojourn that ends in sadness and disillusionment and drives him back to Sophiatown.
Instead of inheriting her maternal grandmothe’s fair skin, Kathie Liedeman is born as dark as her Cape Coloured father, a social disaster in the eyes of her mother and near-white grandmother, Mrs Fraser. When Kathie’s new baby sister Stella is born as light skinned as Mrs Fraser, the two women rejoice; nothing is going to stop them propelling Stella into Cape Town’s white world, where she will reap all the rewards of this privileged status. The innocent young Kathie adores her little sister but has no idea how the birth of Stella will deeply affect everyone in her father’s household. Marginalised by her mother and grandmother, Kathie grows closer to her father.
Enraged by his mother-in-law’s false gentility and manipulation of his family, he is driven to drink. Kathie is devastated by his sudden accidental death and feels more and more alone. But only when Stella is sent to a white school does she learn with a terrible sense of shock, that she is ‘different’ from Stella. While Stella strives to join the white world, Kathie throws herself into her studies, though she never abandons her sister, whose painfully convoluted life is finally intertwined with her own in a most unexpected way. Kathie’s life changes when she meets Paul Mangena, a young black lawyer from the Eastern Province.
Drawn into a world of enlightenment, she shares Paul’s utopian dream of a South Africa in which everyone will have the opportunity to live as equals. Though bolstered by the hope, the joy, and the intense love they have for each other, their path is never smooth. They are cruelly opposed by the unyielding forces of the times, but in spite of these Kathie remains undaunted. Even as the final cataclysmic event overwhelms her, she declares, “The future is ours!”.