Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #32) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #32)
Transcript: were still strong and after school hours and over weekends we moved in seperate groups each made up of the students who came from the same region. In spite of this the process of broadening my outlook continued uninterrupted. We mixed freely in the dining hall, the classroom, in sports and games, at manual time and in bedrooms. It was at Healdtown that I met my first Sotho speaking friend, Zachariah Molete, a friendship that would bear rich fruit in later years. The boarding master, Reverend S.S. Mokitini, who later became the first African president of the Methodist (Wesleyan) Church of South Africa, was also Sotho speaking. He was gifted and progressive and when I became a prefect in my second year, I found it a pleasure to serve under him. Another Sotho speaking person who was popular among the students was out zoology teacher, Frank Lebentlele. He had cut across tribal barriers and married a Xhosa lady from my home town. Such a marriage was something quite novel to me in those days and further exposed my backwardness in matters of this nature. Lebentlele also mixed freely with students and played in the College's first soccer team. The cumulative effect of all these things was to undermine my parochialism and to give me new perspectives. I became vaguely conscious of an identity which held together all Africans, which forced us to attend separate schools from whites, worship in separate churches and travel in separate railway carriages, which made us live in separate areas and to be buried in separate graveyards. Nevertheless, I was still essentially a Xhosa my thinking, inspired more by the achievements of my own ethnic group than those of the people of my country as a whole. In this regard an important role was played by the poet Krune Mqhayi who visited the college in 1938. The college authorities declared the day a school holiday. Members of the staff, black and white, and students gathered in the dining hall to listen to the visitor. Then the door leading to the Governor's house opened and a
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