Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom Essay Prompt

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela– Book Review Essay

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Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela– Book Review "…calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, and now the joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops--Free at last! Free at last! ... This is a time to heal the old wounds and build a new South Africa." Nelson Mandela fought his entire life. Nelson Mandela fought a fight for civil rights in South Africa on the streets and behind the prison walls. Even after 27 years behind those walls Mandela maintained his dignity and rose to be the first Black President of South Africa. Nelson Mandela's Autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom" was written up to the point…show more content…

Nelson was an exceedingly popular and good student. He was involved in school boxing program and even won student office. Nelson's view for just causes is clear this early in his life by turning down the seat for student office because it was an unfair election. Because of turning down this offer he was expelled. At the age of 21, Nelson returned home to find out he has been set up in an arranged marriage and he ran from home to Johannesburg. By 1941 black oppression was clear in South Africa. Segregation was clear to Mandela from: hospitals, schools, busses, trains, townships, and even jobs. Africans couldn't walk the street without being stopped and forced to show there "passport". These domestic passports said when and where an African could be. During this time Mandela met Walter Sisulu an African Businessman and head of the African conference. The African conference was a group petitioning the segregation in South Africa by boycott, letters and petitions. Walter Sisulu saw a potential leader for the cause in Mandela, even though Nelson was shy about speaking in public because he thought his English wasn't good. Mandela was hired to be a clerk in the law office and at night Mandela went to night school. The end of World War II, blacks in South Africa were helping the war effort for freedom against oppression but had to deal with oppression at home. African's still had the "Yes, Master" attitude for the white minority. At this time Mandela formed

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Nelson Mandela - Questions and Answers

Question: When was Nelson Mandela born?

Answer: According to his biography at, Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. After his birth, his parents gave him the name Rolilahla. It was this African name that was later on supplemented with the English first name Nelson, given to him by his teacher, Miss Mdingane, as the name he should answer to in school.

Question: Where was he born?

Answer: He was born in Transkei, South Africa.

Question: Who were his parents?

Answer: His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa, chief of the Thembu tribe of the Xhosa nation, South Africa. He was also known as Henry Mandela (Mandela being the name of the family chieftainship), and his mother was Nosekeni Fanny, who later converted to Christianity.

Question: Why is he also called 'Madiba'?

Answer: Madiba is his clan name, telling people that he was a member of the Madiba clan (named after an eighteenth century Thembu tribe chief). In his autobiography, Nelson Mandela explains: "I am often addressed as Madiba, my clan name, as a sign of respect."

Question: What is his educational background?

Answer: Nelson Mandela started his schooling at the local mission school. He graduated from the University College of Fort Hare in Alice, Eastern Cape, at the end of 1942 with a BA degree. In early 1943, he enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg for a bachelor of law degree, but he never completed his LLB. After several failed attempts, in 1952 he decided to do the qualifying exam that would allow him to practice as a fully-fledged attorney. He got his law degree in 1989.

Question: Why was Nelson Mandela sent to jail?

Answer: Nelson Mandela was arrested and jailed because he was accused of treason by the South African government. In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC), which challenged the South African ruling party's apartheid policies. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961. Mandela formed the military wing of the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which went underground after the ANC was banned in 1960. He was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour. When many leaders of the ANC and the MK were arrested for plotting to overthrow the government by violence, Nelson Mandela was also brought to stand trial with them, and he was one of eight accused that were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Question: Where was he jailed?

Answer: He was jailed at the Robben Island Prison, 12 kilometers away from Cape Town, off the coast of South Africa.

Question: How long was he jailed in Robben Island?

Answer: He was jailed for 18 years before he was moved to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland, staying there until 11 February 1990 when he was finally released.

Question: He was also known as 'The Black Pimpernel'? Why?

Answer: The press called Nelson Mandela 'The Black Pimpernel' during his clashes with the South African authorities because of his ability to avoid the police, using several disguises, a favourite of which was a chauffeur.

Question: What happened to him after he was released?

Answer: He was elected president of the ANC in 1991 and became the first democratically elected President of South Africa in 1994.

Question: When was Nelson Mandela awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? And why?

Answer: In 1993, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it with Frederik Willem de Klerk, president of South Africa at the time, "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, London: Little, Brown and Company, 1994
"Nelson Mandela and the Rainbow of Culture" by Anders Hallengren


First published 30 May 2008

To cite this page
MLA style: "Nelson Mandela - Questions and Answers". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 13 Mar 2018. <>


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