Ever since I became aware of his story which I can trace back to the time of his release from prison, I have always had a fascination. Not necessarily understanding the story behind the man but more for the legend.My love for history and stories of the struggle to independence in African countries gave me just enough information though the depth to which I now understand the sacrifices made has been greatly deepened by this masterpiece of a biography. It is quite difficult to pen out all my sentiments about the story of Madiba, but all I can say is that one must walk this incredible journey with him and realize that the world was absolutely blessed to have been graced by his presence. As he narrates his story, Nelson Mandela was born free though at a young age came to the realize that he was in actual fact, not a free even in his own country. After getting his education, he became involved with the African National Congress (ANC). Through his association with the group their fight was that of freedom for the black South African majority during Apartheid. A time in which a system of racial segregation was enforced by the National Party governing the country from 1948-1994.Many black South African lost their lives and livelihood during this period. It is then that this great leader of our time arose. According to Madiba, his fight was not an awakening but rather a, “but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”
His biggest crime was the fight for equality of men! That despite our different skin color, or languages, or backgrounds we are all the same! That we all want the same things in life. To love, be loved, be free to work our passions, raise good children make a living, love who we want among other things. Basic human rights and racial freedom! His story is one that will take you on a journey of Mandela’s youth, struggle to freedom, release and hope. I absolutely recommend this book.
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson Mandela,