Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #56) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #56)
Transcript: For these reasons I was not at all surprised when I found that the standard history books contained no reference to Mngoma's anecdote. Most of his accounts are in line with written records and he did as much as Wearer Ncwana in introducing me to the real history of my people.
As a result of these and other contacts I made during my early days in Johannesburg, I developed some inner strength and soon forgot about my difficulties and my poverty and suffering, my loneliness and frustrations. These connections gave me the confidence that I could stand on my own feet, enjoy the goodwill and support of worthy men and women I had not previously known and to whom I could turn in case of need. And now I had a home of my own choice far away from my birthplace and had made progress, however little, mainly through my own initiative and resources. I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress. A feature of many of these friendships is that they were built around families rather than individuals, and they have scarcely been affected by the death of those members through whom they were founded.
In Alexandra life was exciting and, although the racial policies of the present government have destroyed its social fabric and reduced it to a ghost town, thinking of it always evokes in me fond memories. Here I learnt to adjust myself to urban life and came into physical contact with all the evils of white supremacy.Although the township had some beautiful buildings it was a typical slum area overcrowded and dirty, with under nourished children running about naked or in filthy rags. It teamed with all kinds of religious sects, gangsters and shebeens. Life was cheap and the gun and the
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