Book Review: Long Walk to Freedom
This is the story of one of the greatest political and moral leaders of our time. It is a remarkable and inspiring political struggle of the great Nelson Mandela, a hero, who remained steadfast in his fight against the apartheid and oppressive regime in South Africa. He successfully lead an incredible and decisive movement against the apartheid government in South Africa.
Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiography written by South African President Nelson Mandela which was first published in 1994. The book details his early life, education and 27 distressing years in prison. Mandela was regarded by the apartheid government as a terrorist and jailed on the infamous Robben Island.
The book is well chapterized and doesn’t let the reader loose interest. In the first part, Mandela describes his upbringing and childhood in the royal Thembu dynasty of South Africa. He then details his education at Clarkebury college in Thembu, and later at the strict Healdtown school.
The second part of the book explains the political and social fallouts of apartheid on the South African society. It then describes Mandela’s struggle against the apartheid where he joined the African National Congress in 1950. In 1961, Mandela was convicted for inciting people to strike and sentenced to five years in prison. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage and was sent to the infamous Robben Island .
Mandela describes his 28-year tenure in prison which was marked by the cruelty of Afrikaner guards, backbreaking labour, and sleeping in the nearly uninhabitable minuscule cells. Later on in his sentence, Mandela met South African president, Frederik Willem de Klerk, and was released from prison in 1990. For his work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He later became the President of South Africa in 1994.