Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #28) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #28)
Transcript: matter which has always given me some trouble. For one thing, in this country the issue is complicated by the racial element, for the church and church schools were controlled by whites and the governors of African colleges were also whites, responsible not to the parents but to the church. Any problems that arise are seen by us primarily from this angle. Nevertheless,where educational services are run largely by private enterprise, the facilities available and the diet provided bear some relationship to the amount of fees paid; low fees mean correspondingly inferior services. But even after making allowances, I found the diet poor and sometimes difficult to eat. But I consider the achievements of the missionaries in the field of African education to be tremendous, and Clarkebury and other missionary colleges have played an important role in providing Africans with opportunities for primary, secondary, university and vocational training. For me in particular Clarkebury is the alma mater which gave me the benefit of its years of teaching experience and general guidance, and which opened my eyes to the value of scientific knowledge. One day Mathona told me that we would definitely pass our exams at the end of the year because we were taught by a clever lady teacher. She pointed out that our teacher had read all books and that she knew everything for she was a B.A. She was referring to Gertrude Ntlabathi, the first African woman in South Africa to obtain a degree in Bachekor of Arts. At that time I had a vague idea as to what a B.A. was and, to make sure, I asked Mathona to explain. "Oh yes, a B.A. is a very big and difficult book." She was a bright scholar and I completely believed her. The only other African graduate at Clarkebury, and in whose garden I worked in my last year at that school, was Ben Mahlasela who taught us at the secondary school. He was an independent person and one of the few members of the staff who could meet Reverend Harris on equal terms. He used to walk into the
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