As you may have known during the apartheid era in South Africa, the South African apartheid government barred any literature about Nelson Mandela and the liberation forces from reaching its citizens. The organization, African National Congress of which Nelson Mandela was a member was banned.
When I received a gift from a close friend, like so many, I was curious to find out about the gift. And so I opened the wrapping, and found out that it was a book, Long Walk to Freedom. Prior to this, I longed to know about Nelson Mandela.
Well all that era ended in 1994. South Africans now have access to previously banned literature.
The world has seen some incredible leaders over the centuries and Nelson Mandela is one of those incredible leaders. I had the privilege of being in his presence in 1994 when he visited my home town of Chatsworth.
The local stadium was the venue and since the seats in the stadium were full, I was directed to sit on the field. When he entered the stadium, he walked onto the field and there I was a few meters away from this iconic world famous leader.
He addressed the crowd and I must say that I was inspired by his speech. When I returned home that evening, I could not stop talking about my experience. A few weeks later when I received the book titled Long Walk to Freedom, I got stuck into it.
Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
When I first looked at the book, the size and weight of this volume was daunting. After reading the first two or three chapters, I was tempted to give up. I am glad I did not as it started to get really good. I began getting a clearer picture of his life.
The first half of the book is about his upbringing and path into politics.
It was one the best books I have read. Without giving much away, here’s how the autobiography of Nelson Mandela is described on amazon.com:
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
It goes on to state that the Mandela LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life–an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
I cannot agree more with the above review. The Mandela Long Walk to Freedom book not only inspired me but helped shape my understanding as a leader.
What did I learn about the Mandela Long Walk to Freedom?
Here are a few of my learnings:
• How deeply apartheid had ingrained racism not just on to the white minority, but onto the attitudes and assumptions throughout the whole of the South African society
• It gave me a profound understanding of the struggle and the historical events leading to the eventual demise of the apartheid era.
• That love wins and that nothing conquers the human spirit
• How to face trials with class and strength.
• The power of forgiveness and how this aligned with my faith understanding of forgiveness.
• The joy that can be found in the simple things in life
I could go on and on in sharing what I have learned from Mandela Long Walk to Freedom book, I hope you will read the book for yourself.
Nelson Mandela in the movie, Invictus
When the movie Invictus about Nelson Mandela was released, I made sure I go and watch the movie. In fact I watched the movie three times. Here’s a synopsis of this movie:
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match. – Written by alfiehitchie
This movie, just like the book Mandela Long Walk to Freedom exceeded all my expectations. Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman did South Africa and Nelson Mandela proud. It shows again, the iconic Mandela demonstrating how a leader should lead.
There are other books about the autobiography of Nelson Mandela but none come close to Mandela Long Walk to Freedom book. I also love the movie, Invictus as it captures the essence of who Mandela was and his leadership skills and abilities.
Click here to the Mandela Long Walk to Freedom eBook
Click here to watch the movie Invictus