Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #253) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #253)
Transcript: much interest and discussion. One of the memorable incidents of our programme was a recital of a praise song in honour of Shaka which was beautifully rendered by Masabalala Yengwa. He draped himself with a blanket and moved up and down as he praised the famous king. All of us, including those who did not understand Zulu very well, listened entranced. Then he reached the lines "Inyon edle ezinye! Wathi esadlezinye, wadlezuinye !" (The bird that kills others, which whilst killing some, kills others) and panamonium broke out. Chief Luthuli, who until then had remained seated and grave in demeanor, suddenly sprang to his feet and exploded: "Ngu Shaka lowo!" (That is Shaka) and began to dance vigorously and to chant as our forefathers used to do in the old days. Stalward Simelane, Stephen Dlamini and most of us followed suit. Accomplished ballroon dancers who had never tried indlamu before , sluggards who knew neither traditional nor modern western dancing, all joined in some moving gracefully, others like frozen mountaineers trying to shake off the cold. Now there were no political or religious leaders, no rightist or leftists, urbanites or countrymen. We were all nationalists bound together by love of our history, culture, country and people. That recital stirred something deep, strong and intimate in us all that makes us what we are. It reminded us of a great past and what is possible in days to come.
Daily Vuyisile Mini used to lead us in singing freedom songs. One of the most popular was: "Nants'indoddemnyama Strydom, Bhasopha nants' indodemnyama Strydom" (Strydom, here's the black man, beware the black man Strydom). In moments like these it was easy to forget about the charge of treason and prison and revel in the joy of living and fighting for our birth right.
Extent and Medium: 1 page