May I have this Dance (Connie Manse Ngcaba)

May I Have This Dance is the autobiographical story of a girl, young woman, spouse, mother and community worker growing up in the Eastern Cape. It is the account of a remarkable lady looking back at the joy and suffering, the agony and the glory of a life lived well.

The story unfolds the building blocks of that life. The book reads as long Sunday afternoon with your beloved grandmother where you have all the time of the world to listen to nibs of wisdom from somebody who has been there and lives to tell the story. From the pain of being separated from her mother as she had to leave the children behind to find work in Johannesburg,the hard work of getting her nursing diploma, and the butterflies when a dance instructor made her feel very special and turned out to be a lifelong lover and companion and husband to the year she spent in jail due to her courage to fight Apartheid and her reflections upon the different times that she was known as Manse, Mama, MaHlongwane and Makhulu.

With courage, passion, fondness and gratitude she looks back at the many surprises life held in store.

Living in the Eastern Cape and trying to make sense of my new surroundings I am happy to have found a fellow traveller from another time, gender, place and colour accounting for a most interesting life and be a beacon to others to develop the same. This black, senior, female voice gently explores what it means to grow and hold dear what you believe in.

A memoir about love and courage from a country where both are needed.

Connie Manse Ngcabe, May I Have This Dance, (Capetown: Face2 Face, 2015)