Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Summary and Analysis

This story, Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is an extract from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. It depicts the struggle of black people in South Africa. Nelson Mandela took the oath as the first black President after being ruled by white people for more than three centuries on the 10th May of 1994. 

Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Summary

On the 10th of May 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office as President of South Africa. He was the first Black President after being ruled by Whites for more than three centuries. His party had successfully won 252 out of 400 seats in South Africa’s first democratic elections.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the Union Buildings amphitheater in Pretoria and was attended by dignitaries and politicians from many countries. Mandela respectfully addressed all dignitaries and ensured that his fellow countrymen would never face suppression by one group. He established democracy in the country and promised no discrimination of people irrespective of caste, color, creed, or race. He ensured that the government would always treat everyone with respect and view everyone as equals.

The inauguration day was symbolic as people from South Africa sang two national anthems. The whites sang ‘Nkosi Sikelel –iAfrika,’ and the blacks sang ‘Die Stem,’ the old anthem of the Republic. This served as a reminder to Mandela for the exploitation of black-skinned people. He felt extreme pain for his race because of the racial domination of the white-skinned people over the dark-skinned, who had to give up their own land, which paved the way for the harshest societies known to the world. He believed that no one hates people based on color, background, or religion by birth. However, one must learn how to hate initially because they can be taught to love, which comes more naturally. He explains how one becomes brave by conquering their fears. 

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Mandela spoke of two significant obligations in every man’s life. The first is towards their family, and the second is to their motherland, country, and community. Everyone must fulfill these obligations according to their interests. However, it was tough to do that as a black man in South Africa before the wave of democracy took the nation by storm. When Mandela became an adult, it occurred to him that freedom is just an illusion and temporary for black-skinned people. He believed that they were treated as slaves of exploitation and unfairly by white-skinned people.

Mandela believed that freedom was invisible. However, people of his race were bound with chains of oppression and tyranny. He knew that both the oppressor and the oppressed must be liberated because one who snatches another’s freedom is a prisoner of similar pressure. Essentially, an oppressor is not free and is bound in the chains of oppression.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Analysis

In this excerpt, Mandela swears in as the first black President of South Africa. Two national anthems were sung during the inauguration, making him wish the freedom must reign in South Africa. He addressed everyone and said that the land must never suffer through oppression by one over another. The officials who imprisoned Mandela earlier were saluting and paying their respects to the democracy. He pays homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their motherland and says that they had extraordinary courage and generosity. South Africa is rich in minerals and gems, but their most incredible wealth is their people. Mandela says that no one inherently hates another because of skin color, background, or religion, and if one can hate, they can be taught to love too. He believes that man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished. He talks about one’s obligation to family and nation. He said that an oppressor requires liberation, too, because both oppressors and the oppressed can lose their humanity.

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Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Theme

The lesson pays homage to the heroes and patriots who relentlessly struggled against the racist regime in South Africa. It gives a message of peace and unity. It presents the idea of equality and no exploitation of man by man. It opens the way for a new order with no racialism and segregation.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Character Sketch

Nelson Mandela is one of the greatest freedom fighters in South Africa. He was a black hero who waged against the unjust system that prevailed in his country. He fought against the apartheid regime in South Africa that led to a belief in racialism. He was imprisoned for more than thirty years and became the first Black President of South Africa in 1994 as his party came to power in democratic elections. The man was subjected to untold things in prison and was finally installed as the first democratically elected Black President. He was grateful for the sacrifices of thousands of martyrs. He had a more comprehensive vision for humanity. For him, freedom could not be divided. He believed that both the oppressor and oppressed had been limited to the shackles of discrimination, and both must be freed. He said one who knows how to hate can be taught to love, because it came more naturally. Most importantly, he wished that freedom in America would reign.

Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Key Points

The excerpt has been taken from Mandela’s autobiography. It is inclusive of the description of the inauguration ceremony when Mandela was sworn as the First Black President of a Democratic South Africa. It includes citations from his speech and journey as a freedom fighter. It talks about the people who fought for freedom and the discrimination of people based on race. It spoke of how brutal a society was created and how black-skinned people were deprived of their fundamental rights. It speaks of the duties of a man towards his family and their country. It shows the struggles Nelson Mandela went through to build a society with no discrimination based on color, caste, race, age, or gender. 

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