Manu Herbstein: A Brief Biography

Manu Herbstein, a a civil and structural engineer by profession, was born in Muizenberg, near Cape Town, 1936 and educated at the University of Cape Town. His Jewish grandparents, he writes, had "emigrated to South Africa in the 1890s. Two from Russia, one a Litvak, her husband a Romanian, whose name I bear."

"My father, a lawyer who became a judge, was 'liberal' in white SA terms but devastated when I announced my intention to marry a Ghanaian. My wife, Akua, is Asante, an economist by training, entrepreneur by profession. She runs a furniture factory employing a hundred and has recently branched into real estate ( Her alma mater, the University of Ghana, awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2000."

"I left South Africa in 1959. Was in Lagos to see the Union Jack lowered in October 1960; came to Ghana first in 1961, was in and out during the '60s, lived in Bombay, Lusaka (where we married) and Scotland; (but in Accra during the coup which overthrew Kwame Nkrumah in 1966.) We've lived in Accra since 1970. I went back to SA for the first time during de Klerk's all-white referendum in 1992 (was it?)

We have two sons, Kwame, a civil engineer, working in Johannesburg; Kwamena, economist and computer science graduate, working for near Washington, D.C.

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Postcolonial Web Africa OV Ghana OV Manu Herbstein

Last modified 19 August 2002