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Great Expressions, My Expressions

Long walk to freedom


madibaHow a husband will react when he will touch her wife after 21 years. How a father will control his emotions when he sees her new born baby is a wife of someone. How a son will react when he does not get permit for her mother funeral. Above all, how a human will behave as national leader with other caste who put him in a jail for 27 years. Well answer you will find in autobiography of Nelson Mandela “Long Walk to Freedom”. Today when I finished the book I am feeling proud that now I know something about one of the legends born in 19th century and whom we have seen many times in our childhood. When I watched the movie “Invictus”, that time I decided that will read about a great soul whom world known as Madiba. The best thing about Mandela autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” that in any sentence or in paragraph you will not find or even get a sense that Mandela become self obsess for his sacrifices and work what he has done for his nation and humanity. Here I am using sacrifice word but he shared that throughout the life he relished his dream to live in a nation where black and Indian will have equal right what they deserve in their native land; so there is no question of sacrifice. The journey starts from his childhood which he depicted lavishly that how he enjoyed his childhood in traditional African tribal society. One more fact he shared that his name was not Nelson; that name was given by his school teachers run by English missionaries.

It is a universal discussion that ‘”leaders are born or leaders are made”; in case of Mandela I would say Leaders are made not born. He shared his life from his childhood which was very normal and till is adulthood he was quite sure about his career as counselor of his tribe leader; but destiny had different plan for him. Like Gandhi Ji he was also changed his mind during his graduation in law as he was disturb by colonization and got motivated by Marxism. What sacrifice you do in a journey of freedom fight that he shared so naturally that reader will not even feel that Mandela and his comrades left everything behind in long journey of freedom fight. He left his family and people back to run for heart of South Africa, Johannesburg for education. When a freedom fighter born within Mandela, he sidelined his career as lawyer to become a member of ANC (African National Congress) and started serving his people and nation. When one starts living a public life than sacrifice starts from home; he could not continue with his first wife as both had different thoughts and he became divorce man. But in later part he found his soul mate Winnie who supported him throughout his life at every step. African freedom movement charged after Second World War when already many nations got freedom from western countries; ANC and Mandela drove motivation from other countries and other freedom fighters; Gandhi ji was one epic figure for him personally. He shared many times that he was inspired by Gandhi Ji thoughts and idea on non violence although in later part of his struggle he was ready for guerrilla fight. He anchored as first commander of MK (The Spare of the Nation; a guerrilla army fought for African freedom) in South Africa. His book also delivers a message that in a long journey you cannot calculate life mathematically like 2+2 =4; many times destiny does not follow you. In such adverse circumstances only one thing keeps you moving and that is faith and conviction of ideas and principles what one live and breathe. He started his career as a lawyer; later he joined peaceful movement of ANC. As it could not satisfy him as a freedom fighter, so he thought for guerrilla war and visited different countries like Cuba, Ethiopia, Morocco, Egypt and so on to draw international support against apartheid. Although he became popular as a leader when he was part of ANC but his life in the Robben Island for nearly two decades is the real eye opener. A person for two decade in an island jail isolated for everything and still kept him motivated and updated after all sanctions show the power of individual character and mental strength. The best part was when he came out and became first president of South Africa, he had no hard feeling for white people and his heart was full with forgiveness. He shared many times in later part of book that in isolation you have to control your mind and thoughts because thoughts only have power to define you or destroy you. Apart from his struggle of freedom, his autobiography gives glimpse of a true leader and defines the characteristic of a leader. A leader is always a leader; he led prisoners within jail also for the same cause of freedom fight. As an individual, as a freedom fighter, as a politician, as a leader, as a family man, and as a prisoner this world will always look for Nelson Mandela and his work to drive motivation.








About Yogesh

Exploring self.


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