No title {Reflections} Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #609)

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Chapter 17 of the unpublished autobiography written on Robben Island. In this chapter Nelson Mandela reflect on the events that led up to his imprisonment, his imprisonment and on some of his comrades.

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  • Title: No title {Reflections} Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #609)
  • Date: 1976
  • Date Created: 1976
  • Transcript: old generation that inherited the oral traditions of our ancestors has disappeared or is disappearing and science has developed modern techniques of acquiring knowledge in all fields, but even the younger generation of today still values the experience of elders. Young men who are grappling every day with fresh practical human problems like to test the knowledge acquired from the classroom and books against the experience of their mature seniors who have been in the field. The olders colleague among us here who could have played this role is Govan Mbeki, an experienced person who has worked in the Transvaal , taught in the Cape and Natal and who has actually met some of the leading African thinkers who have already disappeared from the scene when we came. But his reluctance to be involved in political discussions inhibits many and those who expect him to play the role of elder here. That is a pity for it is the identity of political beliefs that knit together members of a political organisation and regular discussions, especially informal ones, clear many points of misunderstanding and friction and brings people closer to one another. The name of Walter Sisulu has featured prominently is this story and the reader will have already noticed that we are intimate friends and he was one of the first persons who befriended me when I arrived in Johannesburg. He is acknowledged by almost everyone inside and outside the Congress movement for what he is a senior both in age and political status and in his outlook and daily activities he lives up to expectations. He concentrates on major questions and avoids the tempatation of cluttering up his vision by paying undue attention to unimportant details. As a senior man he makes the question of unity within our ranks and between political organisations his primary concern and is frequently consulted on a multiplicity of political and personal matters by all. In this regard his stable temperament, cheerfullness and simplicity make him accessible to all
  • Type: Book
  • Reference code: chapter 17, 609
  • Extent and Medium: Pages 593 to 614, 1 page
  • Collection: Unpublished autobiographical manuscript

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