page 215 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_215.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 7-215


Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_215.jpg]


  • 1976 - (Creation)

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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The next morning I returned to Qunu and I spent a few days with my mother and sister Mabel. During the day I would leave the car behind and visit friends and relatives on foot and walk long distances leisurely into the veld. But the magic world of my childhood evaded me and everything that remained had changed. Although it was no spring the grass was short and brown and I saw very few flowers, whilst the bushes that were once dense and tall not appeared stunted and scattered here and there. Even the streams whose sweet waters I used to enjoy and where I used to catch eels had dried up into numerous dirty pools. All the same it was a tremendous experience to see once again the old landmarks that reminded me of the exciting moments of my youth.

My time was no up an one evening I bade my mother and sister in law No england farewell and went off to Mthatha for final consultations with Timothy Mbuzo. My last act that night was to visit Sabata in hospital to wish him speedy recovery and to say goodbye. We shook hands and he wished me well in return. At 3 a.m. next moring I was on my way to Cape Town. In the bright moonlight and crisp breeze I felt fresh and light and drove at moderate speed past Dutywa (Idirtywa) and Butterworth and across the Kei. The road winds up the rugged mountains from that historic river and the majestic scenery on both sides of the road heightened the feeling of bliss that surged through me. From the top of the mountains I looked down on a beautiful valley with vast and green fields. I was last on that road 18 years before when Chief Jongintaba took me to Healdtown. Between 1937 and 1940 I had travelled on several occasions by train to and from Healdtown and Fort Hare but on all those occasions it passed the region at night. This was an ideal opportunity for me to see the area and I slowed down considerably.

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