Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #31) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #31)
Transcript: Congress of the Cape Province. I never suspected during the good old days at Clarkebury that one day he and I would serve our time on this island. But to return to Clarkebury, Mathona was a day scholar and when she passed Standard VI she left school. Her parents did not have the means to send her to College and no other person could help her. That is how the brilliant Mathona missed a chance in life and joined the exceptionally high percentage of drop outs which is the characteristic feature of African education in South Africa. Nevertheless, we met often until the end of 1936 when I completed my Standard VIII. I bade her goodbye as I left for Mqhekezweni hoping to see her again. Then suddenly she disappeared and I have never seen or heard of her again. At Clarkebury I met students from all over the Transkei and a few from Johannesburg and Basutoland, as Lesotho was then known. These contacts helped to broaden my outlook but at heart I was still a Thembu and by large I thought and acted like one. At the beginning of 1937 I joined Justice at Healdtown, the Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort. It lies in the centre of an area which once formed part of the kingdom of Phalo, the last great king who ruled over all the Xhosas from the Mbashe to the Gamtoos River. On his death in 1775 the area between the Kei River and the Gamtoos passed to his son of the Right Hand House, Rharhabe. For a whole century this area was the scene of fierce fighting in which the intruding whites systematically dispossessed the Xhosas of their land. The names of many places in the area, like Fort Beaufort, Fort Cox, Fort Glamorgan, Fort Hare and Fort Wiltshire, testify to the fact that war was once a dominant feature in the life of its inhabitants. It was here that between 1779 and 1879 warriors like Ndlambe, Makana, Maqoma, Sandile and others operated and achieved fame. Healdtown was a much larger institution than Clarkebury and attracted students from all parts of the country. Regionalism and even tribalism
Extent and Medium: 1 page