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- First Flight Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom ( Summary In English )
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(English First Flight Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) Summary In English
The inauguration day
Tenth May dawned. It was bright and clear. Many world leaders had been coming to the author to pay respects to him. It was before the inauguration. The inauguration was to be the largest gathering of world leaders there.
The place of inauguration
The inauguration ceremonies took place in a big open building in Pretoria. Here the South Africa’s first democratic non-racial govt, was to be installed.
The swearing-in ceremony
On that day the author was in the company of his daughter Zenani. Mr. De Klerk was first sworn in as second deputy President. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first deputy President. It was the author’s turn then. He was sworn in as the President. He pledged to obey and uphold the constitution. He also pledged to devote himself to the well-being of the people.
The author addresses
The author spoke of the newborn liberty. He thanked all the international guests. He said that they had come there to be with his countrymen. It was the common victory for justice, peace and human dignity. He pledged to liberate his people from poverty, suffering and discrimination.
Display by jets and helicopters
After a few moments colourful South African jets and helicopters flew over the Union Buildings there. It was for military’s loyalty to democracy for a new govt. Then the highest military generals having medals on their chests saluted the author. He thought that they would have arrested him many years before.
Singing of the national anthem
The day was symbolised for the author by the playing of two national anthems. The whites sang ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ and the blacks sang ‘Die Stem’. These formed the old anthems of the republic.
The author’s thoughts
On that day of the inauguration, the author thought of history. In the first decade the South African people had patched up their differences wifti other black-skinned people. They had built a system of superiority also. It was the basis of the harshest societies. This system had now stood overturned. Now it was the system that recognised the rights and freedoms of all people.
The author’s regret
This auspicious day came after the sacrifices of thousands of the people. The author thought of himself the sum of all those people. He was pained that he couldn’t thank them.
Freedom fighters remembered
The policy of apartheid created a lasting wound in his country and his people. This policy had produced great freedom fighters. They were like Oliver Tambos, Walter Sisulus, Chief Luthulis, Yusuf Dadoos etc. They were men of uncommon courage, wisdom and generosity. The country was rich in minerals. But its greatest wealth was its people.
The definition of courage
From these people the author learned the meaning of courage. They risked their lives. They underwent great torture. He learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the victory over it.
Man’s natural goodness
The author says that no one is bom hating another person due to colour or religion. They k could be taught to love. Love comes naturally to the human heart. In prison they were pushed to the wall. But he saw humanity in the hearts of the guards. It was man’s essential goodness. It can’t be put out.
In life every man has twin duties—to his family, to his community and country. The author found it difficult to fulfil these two duties. It was because a coloured man in South Africa was punished if he lived like a human being. Such a man was forced to live apart from his own people. So he was not allowed to do his duties to his family.
The author was bom free. He was not bom with a hunger to be free. He was free as long as he obeyed his father and obeyed the customs of his tribe. But soon he realized that his freedom was an illusion. He began to hunger for freedom when it was taken from him. As a student he wanted freedom to read and go. As „ a young man in Johannesburg he wanted freedom to be as per his potential. He also wanted the freedom of livelihood of his own and of family.
Desire for freedom made him bold
But soon he saw that he was also not free like his brothers and sisters. Then he joined the African National Congress. His hunger for freedom became great for the freedom of his people. The desire for the freedom of his people to live with dignity gave him power. It made him bold. It made him live like a monk. The chains on his people became chains for him too.
Oppressor and the oppressed without humanity
The author knew that the oppressor must be liberated like the oppressed. A man who takes away another’s freedom becomes the hated. No one is free if he is taking someone else’s freedom. Both the oppressor and the oppressed ire robbed of humanity
CBSE Class 10 (English First Flight Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)Summary
Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is an extract from the autobiography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela that describes the struggle for freedom of black people in South Africa. On 10th May 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath as South Africa’s first Black President after more than three centuries of White rule. His party had won 252 out of the 400 seats in the first democratic elections in the history of South Africa.
Many dignitaries and political figures from several countries had attended the inauguration ceremony that took place in the Union Buildings amphitheatre in Pretoria. In his speech, Mandela addressed all dignitaries respectfully and assured his fellow countrymen that his country would never experience similar suppression by one group over another. While vowing as the first black President, he established democracy in the country and said there would be no discrimination of people, irrespective of caste, colour, creed or race. He assured that the government would always treat all the people of the country with due respect and equality.
The lovely day of inauguration was symbolic for Mandela as the South African people sang two national anthems – the vision of whites sang ‘Nkosi Sikelel –iAfrika’ and the blacks sang ‘Die Stem’, the old anthem of the Republic. All these events reminded Mandela how the black-skinned people were exploited by the white people earlier. He deeply felt the pain of his race and said that this type of suppression and racial domination of the white-skinned people against the dark-skinned people on their own land gave rise to one of the harshest and most inhumane societies the world had ever seen or known. He strongly believed that no person is born to hate the other person on the basis of skin colour, background or religion. Although people must learn to hate initially, because if they learn to hate, they can be taught to love as well, as love comes more naturally to humans than hate. He also mentioned how a person becomes brave, not because he does not feel afraid, but because he knows how to conquer his fears.
Furthermore, Mandela stated that every man in life has two major obligations. The first one being towards his family i.e, parents, wife and children and the second obligation towards his motherland, countrymen and his community. Everyone is able to fulfil those obligations according to his own interests and inclinations. However, it was difficult to fulfil both these obligations as a black man in a country like South Africa before the democratic wave took over the nation by storm. When Mandela became an adult, he realised that freedom was merely an illusion and temporary in nature for the black-skinned people of his country. He felt that they were treated as slaves of exploitation and all the people of his race were treated unfairly by the white-skinned people.
According to Mandela, freedom was indivisible for all. But the people of his colour and race were bound in chains of oppression and tyranny. He knew that the oppressor must be liberated just like the oppressed because a person who snatches another’s freedom is also a prisoner of similar oppression. Thus, the oppressor is not free too and feels shackled in the chains of oppression himself.
Conclusion of First Flight Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
In the chapter – Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, we learnt that brave men are not those who never feel afraid, but the ones who know how to conquer fear. Mandela strongly felt that every individual has certain duties and responsibilities towards his own country and community. We hope this CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Prose Summary of Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom must have helped students to get a brief idea about the chapter.