Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #59) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #59)
Transcript: During the short period of about a week that I spent at home for the funeral I discovered that significant changes had taken place in my outlook. I was no longer attracted by a career in the civil service, of being an interpreter in the Native Affairs Department or Bunga, of seeing my whole future bound up with Thembuland and the Transkei. My association with John Mngoma and Gaur Radebe had put certain ideas in me radically different from those I held before leaving Transkei only sixteen months before. I was surprised to be told that even my Xhosa was no longer pure and to discover that my way of greeting people was now influenced by Zulu.
In our language there is a saying: Ndiwelimilambo enamagama (I have crossed famous rivers). It means that one has travelled and, in the process, gained much experience. Indeed I had since 1934 been crossing important rivers of my country: Mbashe, Great Kei, Orange and the Vaal. I had seen new places and new faces, absorbed new ideas and renounced old ones. But on Sabata I could not speak with such certainty. My relationship to him was primarily a question of blood and not of brains and the former has always dictated what the latter resists. It is the right of every man to plan his own future as he pleases and to decide the actual role he wishes to play and, if at a certain stage in my life, and as a result of circumstances and practical experience, I did exactly this, I was perfectly within my own rights.
But in a way I am a product of the Thembu community, brought up and sent to school with Thembu funds so that I could play a special role. Having profited from this benevolence, was I justified in later taking a unilateral decision and changing the entire plan? Have I no obligation, moral or
Extent and Medium: 1 page