Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #29) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #29)
Transcript: governor's office fearlessly and with his hat on. He never quite forgot the customs of his forefathers and, when he went to service, he would lead the way to the seats with his wife trailing behind him all the way. The only concession he would make in this regard was to give her the honour of taking her seat first. There was nothing particularly heroic in all these things, but to young students from the countryside it was impressive and we admired him a great deal. Among the students I met at Clarkebury were Honourbrook Bala, Arthur Damane, Sidney Sidyiyo, Lincoln Mkentane, Gamaliel Vabaza, and Reuben Mfecane. I was very close to the first three. Bala, Damane and I were allowed to do Standard VIII, normally a third year course after Standard VI, in two years. Bala is now a flourishing medical man in Butterworth. In 1963 he was elected member of the Transkeian Legislative Assembly and became the treasurer of the Democratic Party when it was formed a year later. His refusal to associate himself with an unopposed motion introduced in the Assembly in memory of Verwoerd, the South African premier who was assassinated in Parliament in 1966, created a sensation. Strangely enough, his action was criticized even by members of his own party. Damane settled in the Witwatersrand and joined the African National Congress and the Communist Party of South Africa. For years he worked for the militant newspaper, The Guardian. We were detained together in Pretoria Prison during the State of Emergency in 1960. Sidyiyo became a teacher and musician and has written songs which are sung in African schools throughout the country. I remained in touch with him until the early 1950s when the freedom drums began to beat louder, forcing me to desert some of my best friends who are advancing our interests in other ways. I was very close to Mkentane. I later met him at the University College of Fort Hare and he impressed me as a capable man. The inevitable happened to him and today he is one of the top men
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