From freedom righter to royalty: the remarkable journey of Khulu Radebe, the unexpected king of the AmaHlubi
More about the book!
Khulu Radebe had had a full life. Then, at the age of 50, he discovered that he was a king.
Comrade King by Khulu Radebe and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is out in August from Jacana Media.
As a teenager, Khulu Radebe was part of the Alexandra Township 1976 uprisings. Arrested and sent to Robben Island, he was one of the youngest prisoners there. Returning to Alex, he participated in the township’s 1986 Six Days War. Radebe joined the armed struggle, repeatedly dodging death from the enemy and from fellow MK soldiers in Angola.
At age 50, and proving a prophet’s prediction correct, Khulu Radebe learned about his royal roots. He was informed that he was the ruler of the AmaHlubi people of the Embo Nation, a nation that stretches along the east coast of Africa.
In chronicling his extraordinary life and times in this landmark autobiography, Radebe, in a humane and vivid way, chronicles too the revolutionary path for freedom in South Africa. Alexandra Township in Johannesburg is a central character in this book and Radebe reveals an astonishing story of the post-1990 war between Inkatha and the ANC in Alex.
Gripping, bold and original, Comrade King is an unforgettable story.
About the authors
King Bhungane III, born Khulu Radebe, is king of the Embo Nation that stretches along the African continent. He grew up in Alexandra Township and helped organise the June 1976 uprising there against the apartheid regime. His activism landed him a six-year stint on Robben Island, where he became a graduate of what prisoners called ‘The University of Makana’. Upon returning to Alex in the mid-1980s, he served on the Transvaal High Command while organising protest activities against the government that had imposed a state of emergency. He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s military branch, and fought for nine months in Angola before travelling the world to advocate for the anti-apartheid struggle as a drummer in Amandla Cultural Ensemble. Upon returning to South Africa, he helped found the MK Military Veterans Association and Roots, a band made up of ex-political prisoners. At age 50 he learned that he was a king, and he was coronated in November 2015. King Bhungane regularly makes presentations on local, national and international media outlets.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is an investigative journalist, author and the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse at Grand Valley State University. He is the founder and executive of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ). His work has been published in The New Yorker, USA Today, and the Center for Public Integrity, among many publications, and has earned awards from organisations like Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club, the National Headliner Club, the Society for News Design and the National Association of Black Journalists. He has participated in national and international fellowships about racial justice, the environment, health, business and trauma. A Fulbright Scholar, Specialist and Teacher, he has written or edited six books. In 2016 he was the Taco Kuiper Visiting Fellow at Wits University, and in 2017 he was a Fulbright Specialist there, too.