On 16 June 1976 the youth of Soweto rose up in protest against a new rule making Afrikaans the language of instruction in their schools. Tsietsi Mashinini, a charismatic high-school student, led them in demonstrations that quickly turned into South Africa?s biggest rebellion. Tsietsi?s actions on that day set in motion a chain of events that forever changed not only the country, but his family as well. From that moment forward, the Mashinini name became the stuff of legends; many of Tsietsi?s 12 siblings and even his parents, law-abiding, church-going citizens, found themselves pulled inexorably into the fight against apartheid. A Burning Hunger tells the story of this remarkable family - a story of black South Africa in microcosm, embracing just about every facet of the liberation struggle. If the Mandelas were the generals in the fight for black liberation, the Mashininis were the foot soldiers. Theirs is a story not only of imprisonment, torture, separation and loss; it also one of dignity, courage and strength in the face of appalling adversity. A Burning Hunger will become one of the seminal books about the struggle against apartheid.
Lynda Schuster worked in Africa as a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor. She met the Mashininis in the 1980s and has had their full co-operation in writing this book. She now lives in Florida.