page 005 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_005.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 1-005


Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_005.jpg]


  • 1976 - (Creation)

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Maize, sorghum, beans and pumpkins form the staple diet, not because of any inherent preference for this type of food, but because the people cannot afford anything better. The more well to do families supplement their diets with some milk, tea, coffee and sugar, but for many people these are luxuries which are beyond their means. For the greater part of the year the men are away working on the mines, farms and towns. They return mainly for the purpose of ploughing but leave the hoeing, weeding and harvesting to women and children. Water has to be fetched in buckets or clay pitchers by women from springs and streams.

As a rule Christians move about in modern clothes whilst the non Christians wear blankets soaked in ochre. The Transkei is a country of poverty and hunger, disease and illiteracy. It serves as an important reservoir of cheap labour for the mines and the farms, the former having established an efficient network of recruiting agencies throughout the area. Much change has occured to this area over the past fifty years in regard to the living conditions of the people and, in spite of strong objections and stubborn resistance from the liberation movement to the policy of separate development and its institutions, today there is even talk of independence in which the people it is claimed will for the first time since conquest run their own affairs.

My father ruled at Mvezo in the district of Mthatha. Here I was born on the 18th July 1918, a year which is significant in many respects. It brought both disaster and happy days. It was the year of the influenza epidemic in which millions of people throughout the world died. It marked the end of the

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