Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #43) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #43)
Transcript: properly and in accordance with the accepted Thembu custom. He was inspired mainly by the desire to see us properly settled with our own families and with women he had personally chosen. In my case I knew the girl quite well. She was a decent person from a prominent and respected family. But she probably had her own ideas of an ideal husband and was no more anxious to be burdened with me than I with her. I thought this was the last straw and could no longer postpone the decision that the Regent and I had come to the parting of ways. Viewed from the standpoint of the family, that was a tragic decision. The Regent adopted me as his own child and at his residence I never experienced the hardships and humiliation of being an orphan. He brought me up and maintained me faithfully, sent me to the best schools in the country and carefully groomed me for an important traditional office. I depended on him completely when I was helpless and he never let me down. Now he was ailing and ageing and needed me. And yet I had chosen just this moment to make secret plans to flee with his only son and successor and to dash all his schemes and hopes. Maybe I acted too rashly in fleeing from the Regent. I could have tried to discuss the matter through intermediaries and sought an amicable settlement within the family framework. For one thing his wife supported our argument that we should be at liberty to marry women of our own choice. In addition, I could have appealed to his cousin, Chief Zilindlovu, next to the Regent the most enlightened and influential chief at Mqhekezweni Court, and asked him to intervene. But I chose the easy way. That choice meant that I would never return to Fort Hare and, for the time being, that was the end of my school days and the striving for a civil service career. That same choice plunged me into the centre of an environment where I could make use of the thoughts and experiences of the finest representatives of mankind; where I could see the history and culture of my own people as
Extent and Medium: 1 page