'Long Walk To Freedom' Facts: An Autobiography Of Nelson Mandela | Kidadl


'Long Walk To Freedom' Facts: An Autobiography Of Nelson Mandela

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Many people, especially South Africans, remember the anti-apartheid revolutionary hero and freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela.

Between 1948 and 1994, racial oppression was rife in South Africa, with people facing the discrimination of apartheid. Nelson Mandela, amongst others, condemned and fought against the racial oppression of non-white South Africans.

Nelson Mandela was a South African freedom fighter, socialist, African Nationalist, and the first black President of South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years for his fight against racism and the apartheid government. To inform the world of his painful journey, Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner, penned his autobiography, 'Long Walk To Freedom'. He detailed how the nation struggled to achieve freedom, how he himself helped people break the chains of apartheid, and how the African National Congress was involved in this.

Details About His Life

The boy who came from a small village in the Transkei, fought for equality and human rights and succeeded in ending apartheid. Though the journey was not easy, he fought against all odds and achieved freedom for his people.

In his book, he mentioned details about his childhood. He was born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo. His birth name was Rolihlahla, and his roots are connected to the Thembu tribe. His father's name was Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, chief of the Thembu tribe. His mother's name was Nonqaphi Nosekeni.

His early education happened in Qunu, where his teacher changed his name to Nelson Mandela, because of the custom of using Christian names in the school. He mentioned his education at Clarkebury, a college at Thembu, and his schooling at a strict Healdtown school, where students were punished with rigorous routines. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Fort Hare and his degree in Law from the University of Witwatersrand.

In his book, Mandela mentioned the social effects of apartheid in South Africa and the people who encouraged such a system during his time. To condemn such policies in 1944, Mandela joined the African National Congress and described his role against the government in guerrilla warfare and his formation of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). Though African National Congress was initiated as a black nationalist organization, it emerged as a political party and formed a government.

Nelson Mandela was targeted and sentenced to five years for his active role in various political and social issues. He was convicted of persuading the people to strike and trying to leave the nation without a passport. In 1956, Nelson Mandela, along with 150 other members, were arrested, leading to the Treason Trial, which took four years, and in 1961, the trial ended, and he was found not guilty. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the death sentence, in the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela described his life on Robben Island and at Pollsmoor Prison. He was imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of which were spent on Robben Island in brutal conditions, followed by Pollsmoor Prison, and finally, Victor Verster Prison. He was finally released in 1990, by National Party member and South African president, F. W. de Klerk, under international and domestic pressure.

The following negotiating talks between F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela resulted in the end of apartheid. Soon after his release, Mandela became President of the ANC in 1991, and soon after, President of South Africa, elected by a democratic poll.


Through his long freedom fight, the world recognized him as a great personality and fantastic leader with huge public support. For his struggle and his journey to free people from apartheid, he was rewarded with many awards and recognitions, including the reputed Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded in 1993.

Throughout his life, Mandela received almost 260 awards for his sacrifice and work. He won the Noble Peace Prize, along with F.W. de Klerk, in 1993, the Third World Prize with Winnie Mandela by Strategic and International Studies Group of Malaysia, he was given the Cross of St. Andrew by Scotland, and the Bremen Solidarity Prize, by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Nelson Mandela is a legend in South African history.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

His autobiography, 'Long Walk To Freedom', was published in several languages and won the Alan Paton Award (1995).

In the book, Nelson Mandela mentioned his broken marriage with his first wife, Evelyn Mase, a nurse. The couple had two sons and two daughters and later divorced in 1958. Later, Mandela married Winnie Madikizela, who was a social worker. Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela had two daughters, named Zenani and Zindziswa. They divorced in 1996.

Nelson Mandela's autobiography was made into a film, 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom', which was released in 2013. Idris Elba played the role of Nelson Mandela, with Justin Chadwick as the film's director.


What is the main message of 'Long Walk To Freedom'?

'Long Walk To Freedom' is an inspiring recount of events, involving a determined and empathic leader. Mandela's story is an inspiration to all, showing that, even the most atrocious actions and beliefs can be changed, to create a better society. Mandela has proven that with courage and sacrifice, the world can become a better place for us all to live together.

Is 'Long Walk To Freedom' a true story?

Yes, 'Long Walk To Freedom' is a true story, about the life of freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela.

What is the summary of Nelson Mandela's 'Long Walk To Freedom'?

This autobiography is about Mandela's early life, struggles, and his first experience with apartheid. He explained his political journey, active role in ANC, and the birth of the Youth League. He also mentioned his personal life, such as his first marriage, separation from his kids, political war, and his life imprisonment. Incidents about his negotiations with the apartheid government led to the freedom of black people in South Africa and the abolishment of apartheid.

What happened at the end of 'Long Walk To Freedom'?

Mandela states that every person has responsibility for the welfare of their country and community. The book ends with Mandela's release from prison and his election into the presidency.

Where was the movie of 'Long Walk To Freedom' filmed?

'Long Walk To Freedom' was filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.

When did Nelson Mandela write 'Long Walk To Freedom'?

Incredibly, Nelson Mandela wrote his autobiography while imprisoned on Robben Island, despite having limited access to pens or paper. He wrote throughout the night, when guards would not catch him, and buried his writings in the prison yard, to ensure their safety. Other prisoners risked their lives to help Mandela achieve this.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

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