08 October, 2011

Long Walk to Freedom with Mandela

It is not because I have strong roots with Africa. It is not because he is most highly regarded and renowned internationally. It is not because he is one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time. But, being exceptional in many ways, Nelson Mandela's autobiography: Long Walk to Freedom, written by him, is one of the greatest, most; absorbing and most emotionally touching biographies I have ever read. On February 11, 1990 - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was set free after twenty-seven years of imprisonment. And four years later, through the country's first multi-racial elections, he became South Africa's first Black president.

Three Great quotes from the Book:
“A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity…. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones…”
“A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire with fire.”
Partly written while he was in prison, the book is riveting and at times, very painful to read. Frail and very weak today, Mr. Mandela, since his release form prison about 26 years ago - has been at the center of the greatest and most emotionally moving political story of our time. We can never forget his long years in prison and his painful and noble struggle for justice in his country. We can never forget his being South Africa's president and then choosing, unlike most African leaders who prefer clinging to power, to so easily give it up after only 4 years. We can never forget how he inspired and lead South Africa's Springbok rugby Team to World Cup victory in 1995. And how can we forget last year's colorful, very well organized World Cup in South Africa? A World Cup and a sporting event which was very successfully held in the Rainbow Nation due to this great man's daring to dream high and inviting - and fervently campaigning for the event to be hosted in his country. Of those who have won the Nobel Peace Price in its last one-hundred-and-ten years history, very few rightly won it and deserve it as much as Mr. Mandela.

In the book: Nelson Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life - an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph, which has, until recently, been virtually unknown to most of the world. If you are interested in Africa.  If you value human struggle for: justice, equality, freedom and peace, then Mr. Mandela's autobiography is a must read. And if you love and respect The Man as millions of others in his country and the world do - you will find it very difficult to put the book down after starting it. Read the book and you will walk with Madiba through one of the most tragic, most epic histories of mankind in recent history. And you will be walking too, through one of the greatest struggles for freedom and justice ever waged.

+ Reviews of the book on Goodreads.
+ Find other books on Nelson Mandela here.