Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #96) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #96)
Transcript: form of mass action, demanding an efficient organisation and long hours at the desk and in the field. Such action is even more difficult in South Africa where it is a criminal offence for an African to go on strike, where by refusing to work he may lose not only his job but also the right to remain in such an area, where freedom of assembly, speech and movement are drastically curtailed and where the executive enjoys wide powers and the police are ruthless in surpressing the political activities of the blacks. In spite of all these difficulties June 26th was a success and in the leading cities the majority of the workers stayed away from work and black business men closed their shops. In Bethal, Gert Sibande, who later became a president of the Transvaal ANC, led a demonstration of 5,000 people. The success of this day raised our morale and served as a warning to the Malan government that the people would resist apartheid to the bitter end. Since then we have observed June 26th as our National Day.
At that time my eldest son, Madiba, was five. One day he asked his mother where I lived. I used to return home late at night and leave early in the morning before he was awake. I missed him a great deal during those busy days. I love playing and chatting with children, giving them a bath, feeding and putting them to bed with a little story, and being away from the family has troubled me throughout my political life. I like relaxing at the house, reading quietly, taking in the sweet smell that comes from the pots, sitting around the table with the family and taking out my wife and children. When you can no longer enjoy these simple pleasures something valuable is taken away from your life and you feel it in your daily work.
Extent and Medium: 1 page