Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #448) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #448)
Transcript: groups were chatting together harmoniously. We called first at the TANU (Tanganyika African National Union) offices and at the house of Mr. Mwakangale the local MO. We found the latter out and then returned to the hotel via the UNIP (United National Independence Party of Zambia) offices. By the time we reached the hotel Mr. Mwakangale had already called there looking for us.
To see a non racial crowd together was nothing new to me. In the Congress movement we had become used to mixed crowds either in formal meetings, parties, concerts and other functions that we arranged. I had also seen mixed crowds in Bechuanaland even though I kept at a distance. But on otherwise insignificant incident indicated that this was a mixed crowd of an entirely different kind, that we were now in a country ruled by Africans.
An African customer who was present when we were informed that Mr. Mwakangale had enquired after us immediately took the matter up with the white receptionist. "Madam, come here", he called and she came at once. "Did Mr. Mwakangale enquire after these two gentlemen?" he asked. "I am very sorry sir, he did, but I had forgotten about them", she replied. "Please be careful, madam. These are our guests and we would like them to receive proper attention." His tone was authoritative but polite. I do not know whether the receptionist was born in Tanganyika or came there before or after independence, nor I have any idea as to what went on in her mind during that incident. But I recalled the biting poem of my countryman Krune Mqhayi where he speaks of the turning of the wheel of history when underdogs become the top dogs and the top dogs the under dogs
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