Nelson Mandela, Class 10 English, First Flight
Detailed explanation of “Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The chapter is an extract from autobiography of Nelson Mandela’s, the First Black President of South Africa. It provides us a glimpse of the early life of Nelson Mandela, his education, thirty years in prison and the pains he had suffered in his young age. It also recounts his fight for the freedom of his own people who were tortured by the whites. It also mentions the contributions of other freedom fighters of his nation.
The oath taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, and his colleagues took place on 10th May, 1994. It was a historic occasion. Dignitaries and representatives of 140 countries came to attend it. The ceremony took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre, formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Nelson Mandela had come to the ceremony with his daughter Zenani.
First, Mr. De Klerk was the 2nd Deputy President, then Thabo Mbeki the 1st Deputy President were sworn in. Nelson Mandela took oath as the President. He pledged to obey and uphold the constitution and devote himself to the well-being of the republic and its people.
After taking the oath, President Mandela addressed the guests. He promised to create a society of which all humanity would be proud. He welcomed and thanked the international leaders for joining the ceremony that represented a common victory of justice, peace and human dignity. After getting political freedom, his government pledged to liberate people from the bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discriminations. He wished the sun of freedom to shine on his country forever. He also promised that the new society would bring hope, equality and freedom to all.
After the oath ceremony, the display of military force was carried out. It showed the loyalty of military to democracy. The highest military generals saluted him. He recounted that they would have arrested him many years ago. Finally, the jets left off smoke trail of different colours, e.g., black, red, green, blue, and golden colour of the new South African flag. In the end, two National Anthems were sung by the whites and the blacks. The white sang Nkosi sikelel the old song and the black sang Die Stem the new song.
Later on that day, Mandela reformed history. In the first decade of the 20th Century, a few years after Anglo-Boer War before his birth, the white skinned patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the dark skinned people of South Africa. It was the birth of Apartheid, the harshest in human creation. Now, in the last decade of the 20th century, the system has been overturned forever recognizing the rights of all people irrespective of the colour of their skin or religion.
On the auspicious day Mandela regretted the loss of thousands of people and remembered their sacrifice for the freedom from discrimination. He thought of himself as the sum of all those African patriots who sacrificed their lives before him.
It was a reign of oppression and cruelty that created a deep wound in African people. But deep oppression produced the Oliver Tambos, the Walter Sisulus, the Yusuf Dadoos. The Chief Luthulis, the Bram Fischers, the Robert Sobukwes etc. – men of unparallel courage, wisdom and generosity. He learnt that courage is not lack of fear but victory over that fear. Mandela thinks South Africa’s real wealth is her people who are finer, truer than the purest diamonds. His comrades taught him what courage meant.
It is not the absence of fear but victory over it. No one is born to hate another on the basis of colour of skin or religion. If they can learn to hate, then why not learn to love which comes naturally. He believes in the goodness of man that never dies.
Mandela believe that every man has two obligations, one towards his family and the other towards his people and his country. He believed that in a civil and human society every man is able to fulfill both of them. But a black born in South Africa , just like him, cannot fulfill both. In order to do something for his nation, Mandela was taken away from his family. Thus, he could never fulfil his obligations towards his family.
Mandela remembered that as a child, freedom for him meant being able to do what he wanted. As long as he obeyed his father and the rules of his tribe, he was free in every possible way. As a student, he wanted freedom just for himself. Then as a young man in Johannesburg, he wanted freedom to achieve his dreams, start a family, earn for himself etc. As he grew up, he started realising that the freedom that he enjoyed as a child was just an illusion.
Mandela realised that his complete community including him lacked freedom. Then, he joined the African National Congress with a desire to gain freedom, respect and dignity for his community. The desire for freedom for people as a whole changed his whole life. He transformed from a frightened young man to a bold person which turned him from a law abiding person to become a criminal. He realised that freedom is indivisible.
Mandela realised that he could not enjoy his freedom when his community was not free. He also realised that just like oppressed (torturer), the oppressor (tortured) is also not free. The oppressed is a prisoner of hatred, prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Thus, both the oppressor and the oppressed alike are robbed of their humanity. Both of them must be liberated.
|autobiography||life story (biography)||humanity||sympathy and kindness|
|amphitheatre||large open theatre||extinguished||put out|
|oppression||unfair treatment||inclinations||natural tendencies|
|jubilant||joyful||isolated||separated from others|
|besieged||Surrounded by||ripped||taken away|
|decades||periods of ten years||twilight existence||not being allowed to live
|supremacy||being superior||roast mealies||bake maize corns|
|Sworn||took an oath||illusion||a false idea or belief|
|Confer||to give||transitory||not permanent|
|outlaws||deprived of the benefit
and protection of the law
|rare privilege||uncommon right||obstructed||hindered|
|emancipation||freedom from restriction &
|bondage||slavery||animated||gave life to|
|discrimination||state of being treated
|law-abiding||who obeys rules|
|Reign||rule||virtuous||having high moral standards|
|awe||respect and fear||oppressor||a cruel person who prevents other people from
having any rights or freedoms
|spectacular array||attractive display||bars||obstacles|
|troop carriers||vehicles carrying soldiers||prejudice||hatred|
|pinpoint precision||perfect order||narrow-mindedness||state of having intolerant
|bedecked||decorated||profound||deep and strong|
|chevron||a figure or pattern having the shape of a ‘V’||unintended||not thought of|
|symbolised||like a symbol,
|resilience||ability to deal with any
|overwhelmed||have a strong emotional
|patched up||settled||grimmest||saddest, worst|
|erected||built||pushed to our limits||pressurised|
|racial domination||control due to race||wrought||beaten out or shaped by hammering|