page 1 - ANC Youth League [VC6lwBRzb3Q]

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Reference code

ZA COM NMPP 2009/57-29-1


ANC Youth League [VC6lwBRzb3Q]


  • 1993-03-16 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 audio clip
In-point: 28:47
Out-point: 30:47

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Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Name of creator


Biographical history

Editor and author. Collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (published 1994). Co-producer of the documentary Mandela, 1996. Editor of TIME magazine.

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Rick Stengel

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Scope and content

Nelson Mandela was one of the founding members of the African National Congress Youth League. In fact he only joined the ANC when the Youth League was founded in 1944. Here he talks about the founding of the organisation and, at the same time, reveals his frankness about his own short-comings: in this case how nervous he was about engaging in political discussions and meetings.

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Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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Copyright held by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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  • English

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STENGEL: Did someone come to you and say ‘Nelson we’re forming the Youth League, we’d like you to join?
MANDELA: Ja well, we discussed the matter with Majombozi, Nkomo and Walter together and Tambo and decided and Lembede and decided to form the Youth League.
STENGEL: As you say you were a little nervous though about this?
MANDELA: Oh yes, I mean politically I was nervous, you see, when it came to speaking, you see, when it came to speaking because these people knew much more than I did. first, I first, I made progress in committee meetings. I was more, it was more easy for me to speak in committee meetings and I eventually got the confidence to challenge something that was not correct. I challenged Lembede a couple of times. The fellow I found difficult to challenge was Mda, because he was clear, he had clear ideas, he could analyse and his conclusion came after very clear and scientific analysis. I found it very difficult to challenge Mda, I had no occasion to do so and, but Lembede was an academic and his views were mostly, right up in the skies, you know?
STENGEL: So can you remember, the Manifesto, was, the Youth League was formed on Easter Sunday in ’44, April ’44, at the Bantu Men’s Centre which was.
MANDELA: Bantu Men’s Social Centre.
STENGEL: Bantu Men’s Social Centre which was on Eloff Street?
MANDELA: Yes, that’s right, Eloff Street.

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