Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #69) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #69)
Transcript: experience were important, and where high academic qualifications were not necessarily decisive. Hardly anything I had been taught at Colelge seemed directly relevant in my new environment. The average teacher had fought shy of topics like racial oppression, lack of opportunity for the black man and the numerous indignities to which he is subjected in his daily life. None had ever briefed me on how we would finally remove the evils of colour prejudice, the books I should read in this connection and the political organisations I should join if I wanted to be part of a disciplined freedom movement. I had to learn all these things by mere chance and through trial and error.
What was even more difficult for me was to unlearn what I had already learnt and to adapt myself to the actual conditions in which I now lived. In a big city like Johannesburg where the population is very large and where the different national groups mix freely every day, it takes a lot of personal ability and initiative and connections to rise to the top in any field of activity. In industry, commerce and trade men with humble educational qualifications frequently draw higher wages than those of graduates, whilst factory foremen and stewards may handle larger numbers of people than graduates normally do in the course of their duties. In addition, there are successful traders who can hardly read or write and who have no theoretical training whatsoever in economics or commerce. Suddenly I found myself in a world different from the one I had imagined from behind the College walls.
Amongst the men who were close to me in those days were Gaur Radebe, John Mngoma and Walter Sisulu, and they towered above me in almost everything. Although it shocked me to find
Extent and Medium: 1 page