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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I know I should not wait for too long  time to write down her story: Thuthukile Mazibuko, a vibrant ANC student in our Leipzig University in the mid 80s, with her rich South-African style, Miriam Makeba like, with her guttural laughter, that sounded as if the Indian Ocean made love with the Atlantic ocean. Although you were only 4 year my senior, I could not think of you other than Mama Africa. Already in your late 20s you had been nominated an influential ANC person and future politician, and when you left Leipzig to go back to the political battlefields of South-Africa with its apartheid regime, I inherited a cardbord box with your kitchen stuff and your collected works of Karl Marx and Lenin.

ThuThus Book

3rd volume of W.I.Lenin, selected works, with Exlibris of Thuthukile Mazibuko-Skweyiya

Yes, you were a great chief, and a devote communist. Long time after you left I tried without much success to cook a spicy lamb stew as you did it always in the narrow and filthy kitchen of our students dorm. And without much success neither I tried to convince myself of the real chances of the communist illusion. I still keep the books with me, and I still keep the pans and plates and my kitchen, convinced that the ghost of Thuthukile is still kept in them and one time it will show me how to cook.

Thuthu with her second husband Zola Skweyiya, between 2009 and 2012 high commissioner of SA in London, at a meeting with two South-African rugby players.


Yesterday I found your name again, and indeed you made a great, though not straight career in South Africa. You have been in the higher ranks of the ANC womans council, after 2000 they send you to Paris as embassador, and it must have been there that you fell in love with wine making. You founded an organisation to collaborate between the South African young wine makers and the the french Burgundy region.

But you also had a couple of cases when your close relationship to the political elite in South Africa tempted you to benefit from financial resources, that later were denounced to be not properly allocated. A single holiday trip you did to the middle east with the minister for social development caused a one year media campaign that denounced you of misconduct.

The husbands that you had all came from the higher ANC ranks, which went in their youth through the political training in East Germany.  I guess this brought you together, the old sickness of nostalgia for the times of youth.

Radebe Letter

Letter to Jeff Matham[sanqua] Radebe, CPSA,

But what happened to you between the lines in which you appeared in the news paper articles or in the governmental press releases ? I will find out, I will write to you and ask you to send me some branches from the grapes of your wineyard, so you will become an official representative of my Munich Vineyard of the Nations.


Thuthu again with her 2nd husband Zola Skweyiyia, then high commissioner in London.