The riveting memoirs of one of the great moral and political leaders of our time - an international hero whose accomplishments won him the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Since his release in February 1990, Nelson Mandela has emerged as the world's most significant moral leader since Mahatma Gandhi. As President of the African National Congress and spiritual figurehead of the anti- aparthied movement, he was instrumental in moving South Africa towards black-majority rule. And throughout the world he is revered as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
The foster son of a Tembu chief, Mandela grew up straddling two worlds: the traditional culture of his tribe, and the hostile reality of a white dominated nation. A career in law beckoned, but Mandela's growing political awareness moved him to become more actively engaged, and he played a pivotal role in the formation of the ANC Youth League. In the early 1950s he initiated the 'defiance campaign' against the discriminatory policies of the South African government, and argued for non-violent resistance to aparthied. However, following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 his position changed, and he was forced underground to avoid the newly-imposed ban on the ANC.
The horrors at Sharpeville hardened Mandela's resolve, and he began to advocate a different course of 'non-terrorist' action, aimed at the state but theoretically preventing civilian unrest. In 1964 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of incitement to sabotage, treason, and violent conspiracy against the South African regime. Mandela was to spend a total of twenty-seven years in captivity, most of them in the notorious prison on Robben Island.
Now, following the momentous events of 1994, Nelson Mandela vividly recreates the drama of the experiences that helped shape his destiny: the years operating undercover, effectively classed as a 'terrorist' by the state; the surprisingly eventful quarter-century behind bars, when his dedication to the cause elevated him to a status of martyr, icon and inspiration; and the astonishing moves towards the ANC's near-landslide victory in the breakthrough multi-racial elections of April 1994, when Mandela became South Africa's first-ever black President. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph, told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.
Innocent E Davidson
Reg Rep, Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA)
CapeTown, South Africa