page 004 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_004.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 1-004

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_004.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Note

handshake. All these things would have been superfluous. That tender look of hers which has always moved me and her smooth and concise remarks were all that I needed to feel secure and relaxed. Uqinisufokotho Kwedini ! (Brace yourself up, my boy !) meant more to me than anything else.

Both my home at Qunu and the royal residence at Mqhekezweni are in the district of Mthatha (the corrupt European form being presently Umtata), the capital of the Transkei. The Transkei itself is about seven hundred miles east of Cape Town and lies between the Kei River and the Natal border, the Drakensberg mountains and the Indian Ocean. A beautiful country of rolling hills, fertile valleys and numerous rivers, it is the largest block of African territory in South Africa, covering an area of 16,500 square miles and with the present population of 3,600,000 Xhosas with a tiny minority of Basothos, Coloureds (mixed blood) and whites.

The land is owned by the State and, with a few exceptions, Africans enjoy no private title to land. Africans are state tenants paying rent annually to the Government. Much of the beauty of the territory has been destroyed by over population, over stocking and soil erosion. The houses consist of rounded mud walls, grass roofs with strong wooden poles in the centre on which the roof rests. The floor is made of crushed ant heap and kept smooth and clean by smearing it regularly with fresh cow dung. The houses are generally grouped together in residential areas separate and very often some distance from the maize fields. Cattle, horses, sheep and goats graze in common pastures.

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