The Courageous Journey Of Nelson Mandela: A Biography
If you’re looking to be inspired, then a great place to start is with the story of Nelson Mandela and his heroic ‘Long Walk to Freedom.’ His devoted fight against Apartheid in South Africa was marked by decades of public persecution, living underground, and thirty long years of imprisonment.
Finally when he walked out of prison in February 11, 1990, it was a momentous time for the nation as the system he’d fought for so long began to crumble.
For those who have been left in awe at his courage and commitment, you are about to find out what drove this twentieth century’s most famous freedom fighter.
We invite you to join us on this reflective journey through Nelson Mandela’s introduction (his ‘long walk to freedom’), so that you may gain insight into one man’s strength and determination – an inspiration that still carries its legacy today.
The Transkei: A Place That Nurtured Mandela’S Leadership Skills
Chapter 1 of Long Walk to Freedom opens with the introduction of Nelson Mandela’s birthplace in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
This is where Mandela was born in 1918.
The people of this region are known as Xhosa and belong to the larger Thembu people.
His family were part of the royalty as his father was once a local chief and counsellor to the Thembu royal household- that is until he ran into an issue with the British magistrate and lost his title, livestock and land.
This brings us to young Nelson, who then moved with his mother to Qunu where they lived in a small hut, sleeping on straw mats.
Chapter 1 details how life in this tiny village was simple- filled with tending animals and time spent playing with other boys in stick fights and games of hide-and-seek.
It offers little exposure to bigotry, racism or any knowledge of what divided South African society presently.
Things take a dramatic turn when Nelson was nine years old when news came that his father died from lung disease; before then he had asked Chief Jongintaba (who was uncle) to take him under his wing like a son if something happened – which he agreed upon.
Nelson eventually finds himself at ‘the great place’- the regent’s palace; it was known for its dazzling white reflection and magnificence, including brick houses surrounded by seven huts and gardens full
Confronted With Apartheid, Nelson Mandela Joins The Fight For South Africa’S Freedom
In Chapter 2 of “Long Walk to Freedom”, Nelson and his brother Justice leave their home in the Transkei to travel to Johannesburg in search of work.
They are awestruck by the vast array of electric lights they see as they approach the city.
Nelson has high hopes of becoming a clerk in one of the mines, but unfortunately, he is unable to find work there as the regent had instructed the manager not to hire him or his brother.
However, he finds a job at Walter Sisulu’s real estate agency, which provides housing for Black South Africans.
Sisulu later introduces Nelson to Lazar Sidelsky, a lawyer who offers him a position as a legal clerk with his firm.
Sidelsky encourages Nelson to study law and gives him advice about staying away from politics; however, Nelson begins attending meetings about supporting full citizenship rights for Black South Africans, and eventually joins the ANC (African National Congress).
He also forms the Youth League – a younger, more militant wing of the ANC – alongside some friends.
Nelson Mandela Marries The Struggle: The Treason Trial And Marriage Of South Africa’S Liberator
Chapter 3 of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” chronicles his increased political activism in the decade leading up to the Treason Trial.
With help from his friend and colleague Oliver Tambo, he opened a law firm, Mandela and Tambo, that specialized in defending victims of police brutality.
As one of the ANC’s top leaders, he was at the forefront of their campaign against apartheid rule – but it also made him public enemy number one in the eyes of the regime.
This led to multiple bans by the government which forbade Mandela from any kind of group activity or traveling anywhere without permission.
One of their biggest successes during this period was drafting and reading out The Freedom Charter in Johannesburg’s Soweto Township in June 1955.
This document outlined a total reimagining of how South Africa should be governed – not just with full voting rights for everyone regardless of race or gender – but also a more equitable distribution of land between all its citizens.
However, instead of listening to what they had to say, the National Party responded with violence: six months later Mandela was arrested on charges of high treason.
He spent five years embroiled in legal proceedings before-mentioned as The Treason Trial which threatened punishment by death for those involved with creating and/or advocating for The Freedom Charter draft.
Throughout this process, it became increasingly difficult for him to find time for his family – which led to separations with both his first wife Evelyn and his eventual wife Winnie who protested against her father worrying about her marrying into such a demanding struggle.
Nelson Mandela’S Courageous Stand For Freedom Changed The Course Of History
In Chapter 4 of Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom,” readers learn about the ANC leadership‘s twofold response to the apartheid government.
The first was organizing a series of sabotage operations aimed at infrastructure, machines and power facilities that serviced state security forces with the goal of creating lasting economic damage without taking lives.
Next, plans were drafted for a liberation army that was created to provide the ANC with a way to fight against South Africa’s security state.
Due to the movements of Mandela, he was eventually found out and arrested once more, leading him to be put on trial and sentenced to five years in prison For his actions.
While behind bars, he wrote a statement known as “I Am Prepared To Die” as part of his defence which outlined his moral justifications for becoming a freedom fighter along with details regarding the history of the ANC and its goals.
After reading this powerful speech aloud; He received an unexpected outcome – acquittal!
This provided him with the ability to take his plans to create a liberation army forward while increasing regional and international support.
Mandela’S Sacrifice To Keep His Beliefs Intact And Fight For Freedom For All South Africans
In Chapter 5 of Long Walk to Freedom, the conditions on Robben Island start to improve ever so slightly.
Mandela and his fellow prisoners are now allowed jackets, as well as limited access to books and newspapers.
Mandela begins to organize lectures for the inmates and even starts a course on political economy.
He also creates a small garden in the prison yard with dozens of plants.
However, there is still a strong sense of oppression under watchful eyes of abusive guards who frequently punish any sign of resistance or defiance.
The inmates continue to be cut off from the outside world; they are only able to write or receive letters every six months and all content is censored by prison officials.
During this time, Mandela’s mother passes away, as well as his eldest son, Thembi, who dies in a car accident- events that he must sadly endure without being physically present at either funeral.
The state’s brutal violence towards civil unrest brings about international pressure and countries like the US and UK impose sanctions against South Africa.
The anti-apartheid movement picks up momentum with a “Free Mandela” campaign demanding his release from prison.
If you’re heading off to bed, I wish for your restful sleep and sweet dreams!