Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #51) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #51)
Transcript: which cost £1.10 a month. I paid a monthly rent of thirteen shillings and four pence for an old room with a leaking roof and which was infested with mice. I was also trying to complete my degree as an external student at the University of South Africa, for which I had to pay fees. There were days when I would walk the twelve miles from the township to work and back; when I would go without food, without a bath and when I had to wear patched trousers.
During these difficult days I built lasting friendships and strengthened existing ones. My landlord was not only interested in collecting money from me, but was also a sort of philanthropist. Throughout the whole period I spent with him, his wife would invite me to lunch every Sunday my only substantial meal for the week. Reverend Mabatho and his wife invited me frequently to their house and made it clear that I could always call on them whenever I wished. I also met an old school friend from Healdtown, the ever cheerful Ellen Nkabinde, who was teaching at one of the township schools, without whose help I would have found it difficult to manage. She was a Swazi and a person close to me condemned our friendship on purely tribal grounds. But Ellen and I continued to share a common affection and became even more attached to each other. We wandered together in the veld, hills and valleys round the township and there was hardly a day we did not spend a few hours together. In fact, in Johannesburg, she played the role of mother giving me her warm love and pumping strength and hope into me. It was a tragic day when she bade me farewell for the last time knowing, as I did then, that we would never walk again hand in hand across the Jukskei stream and picnic alone in the bush.
Extent and Medium: 1 page