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South Africa has been home for African patriots for over 11000 years, according to archeologist, when the Dutch Boers arrived in 1952, they discovered developed African societies. The sun and koi koi people were mining and smelting copper, iron and tin, the Sotho and Swapna had built stone towns, but with the Europeans came encroachment on the land and the culture. And so South Africa's history is filled with tales of heroic warriors like Moombahton, Dingaan, Makana, Hanse and such Wayo, who fought valiantly to protect their nations from settler invasions. That lineage of African patriotism continues today.
But they still got to go, Bob Tomball, the general singing about the great, great songs that we have had a glorious time, glorious in the sense that the struggle has produced some wonderful men and women. I have in mind people like Helen Joseph, feelingly yourself, Dr. Wanted like Moses Godard, Jean Bemax. Nelson Mandela is a man who loved his fellow man. He was very public and used to have many friends, even all people you'd never see the man of such great stature. I haven't met a warm human being, more understanding
human being. He would never give you an impression that he's someone that's above you. He is born of a real house so that there's nothing that elect. He could get anything. He's always been down to earth with people and that's what his greatness is all about. Not atoms. Require want. Franchise on the basis of one man, one vote and one political pundit wondered about Nelson Mandela, the good man there is one of the noblest sons of Africa, Nelson Mandela, one of Africa's noblest sons, is easily the most celebrated political prisoner in the world, sentenced to life in prison plus five years in 1962. Mandela has forfeited the privileges of royal status, the compensation
of a successful law career, his family life and everyday comforts to dramatize the horrors of apartheid. His crime is being a committed leader, his injury to South African society, wanting it to be a country free of oppression, where all its citizens are treated equally without regard to race, his life and that of many, many South African patriots is a story of sacrifice. Nelson Mandela was born in the royal family of a Tembo tribe, July 18th, 1918, in the Transcon and groomed to be a chief. We usually call him Brudenell. That's Brother Nel Denel. Almost everybody at Cottonelle. But the older people they call in Polish that his African name is for the fact that he is a prince. When you say that, it means you are pulling that branch along
with you. That word, that one is Nelson Mandela's youngest sister. He used to tend cattle. He used to plow and do everything like all the other boys at home. We have many land to be gardens. We've got a lot of cattle. That is what we used to have at the time. Life was traditional and sheltered. The head of the Mandela household, Henry Godlove Mandela, counselor to the Paramount chief, had four wives. Nelson Mandela's mother knows the Kaney, a staunch Christian, was the third South African parents skill and insight and suggesting the destiny or career of their offspring is uncanny. Mandela's father asked his brother, chief of the Tembo, to assume responsibility for raising Nelson when he was 10. The ailing senior Mandela made the prediction Nelson was going to help the nation. Nelson was 12 when his father, Henry Mandela, died.
By tradition, he became his uncle's son. He was brought up by my uncle John Darba, who at the time. Was that his agent? Paramountcy for the teams he brought up with his unjustice at the great palace of his uncle, young Nelson spent innumerable hours at the tribal courts. He was influenced by the court procedures at home. He used to sit there at the court. And you would listen, you would know exactly what I know all about. I think that is one of the reasons he had to take up long. Mandela was also fascinated by the tales told at night around the fire. The chiefs would sit for hours, recalling stories passed down from generation to generation. The oral historians described how Africans were
brutally attacked and tricked out of their land. They also kept the memory alive of what life was like before Europeans came, when democracy prevailed and resources were shared equally. But Tim recently published a biography on the life of Mandela. At his request, she says his experiences in Tamburlaine made an indelible mark. Nelson did not leave his tribal area until he was a grown man. Therefore, that tribal experience is indelible in his psyche and in that tribal experience carries is an enormous, enormous amount of humanness. It's the community. You are not self oriented. So somewhere along the way I had that body was a Tinytown high school education. One, two, three. He was at 40 Fort Hare, who is the best university in Africa.
Winnie Mandela, the leading university throughout the country. Four years before the Nationalists took over was the University of Fort Hare, which was the seat of learning for most heads of state in Africa. And most of the leaders who formed the original African National Congress were in fact, ex-students of Fort Hood fought hair graduate Godfrey Pidgey. When I entered the University of Fort Hood in nineteen forty two, Mandela was a popular name. He had been a sportsman of outstanding quality, particularly rugby, and he had been very active in student affairs and was then studying law at the University of the one of the few, because at the time you needed ministerial
permission, ministerial authority to study in a white university at Fort Hare, Mandela met Oliver Tambo, a science major who was to become his political ally and law partner. Mandela got involved in a student dispute with the administration in 1941. He staged a student protest and was suspended. Upon returning home, he discovered his uncle, Chief John Gintama, had arranged a marriage for him. Nelson Mandela was 22. In a move that would change his life and the history of South Africa, Mandela ran away. He headed for Johannesburg. There's a train that was on the Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, not media, and so true, the whole handling of this train, getting
young men and. In the coastal areas of Johannesburg and the surrounding tropical. Deep, deep, deep, deep down in the belly of the beginning, and for that might be invasive still. Well, they did that, they mention my foot into that, I mean, I only shot. When they hear that. Dreamers screaming for me to follow my rise. They always cause on brought Steedman. In Johannesburg, Mandela joined the ranks of many, many blacks, newly arrived from rural areas looking for work. His first job was at Crown Mines. This position as a security guard lasted for less than a week. Nelson Mandela is my cousin. Although a distant cousin, United Democratic Front President Albertina Sisulu describes how Mandela was having difficulty adjusting
in the big city when Nelson came up to Johannesburg. He was staying in Alexandra Township. Now that we do know a lot of gangsters that were fighting spoil, as they used to call themselves, these groups wanted him to join them. My cousin, who was a court interpreter, came to the hospital to see our cousin is having a tough time in Alexander. Can we get a place for you to live? Alexander, a practicing nurse, Albertina Tiwari, introduced Mandela to her fiancee, a home boy from the Transkei, Walter Sisulu. The two became fast friends. He was staying in this house with Nelson. They stayed together until I got married. Sisulu, a real estate agent, financed a long correspondence course for Mandela
and classes at the all white University of Witwatersrand. Sisulu also introduced his friend to a firm where Mandela was hired as a law or article clerk, as it's called in South Africa. The late Ruth Forrest and anti-apartheid journalist recalls one of Mandela's first exposures to prejudice on the job. I remember his outrage at the office in which he was an article clerk where there was a system of segregation of the teacups, special cups for whites and the worst cups put aside for the Africans living with this Sisulu. Mandela met a lot of people, including Walter's cousin, a nurse named Evelin in Tacoma. See, Nelson in my wedding photo is on my side is my best man. Evelyn is on Walter's side because it's the cousin Nelson and Evelyn got married in 1944.
I think really he is coming in, yet it's then that he started being involved in politics. Walter Sisulu was already a member of the African National Congress. In 1942, he convinced Mandela and his former schoolmate, Oliver Tambo, to join Morning Boy. Why do you want you can't imagine somebody waiting. What do you mean? Somebody's waiting? Somebody waiting here waiting for somebody waiting in line to get away. Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Blacks fought settler invasions fiercely for over 250 years, but it was the imposition of taxes that eventually cemented the Dutch Boer stranglehold on Africans. First, it was a poll tax, then a hot tax, and even a dog tax which forced Africans to work in the mines in order to pay. By 1910, 36 laws had been passed to establish separation of the races and to limit African mobility and rights.
Their Native Land Act, for example, gave the 12 percent white minority access to 90 percent of the land. I am talking about the old story before 1912 with the spirit of the egg when people were when was taking calls from the people. When you used to see you are going to look for a job, we come really strip you Negatus, then they can give you a permit of seven days even to organize payment. People went to jail for it. We used to walk in the street, not in the pavement, aiming for the White House. In January of 1912, a meeting of the South African Native National Congress was convened. Later called the African National Congress, or ANC. The organization patterned itself after the British Parliament and U.S. Congress. An upper house or House of Chiefs was a mechanism designed to unify all the kings and chiefs of the various tribes in South Africa.
The Lower House was composed of educated Africans and intellectuals. The founding members were conservative and some say, elite ANC member Phillip Matthews. That time the organization, the old organizing the Elders was yet. But it was led by old people, you know, old people who did not want to take each and everybody into the organization. Unless you are an intellectual, then they would have joined you. Between 1912 and the mid 40s, the ANC pleaded its case to the Dutch Boer government through petitions and letters that went unanswered. In 1944, Mandela, Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and others expressed concern about the ANC stagnancy and conservatism led by the charismatic Anton Lombardi. They decided to form an organization within the ANC to try and give it new life. They called it the ANC Youth League. Phillip Matthews.
I was a youth league at all. Walter Sisulu born 1912. I was born 1911. But you were still a youth. Leca. We are old. We know we are about forty something. In 1948, the ultraconservative Afrikaner Nationalist Party came to power. The government was now in the hands of Nazi sympathizers who designed and established a comprehensive program of white domination called apartheid. Ruth mom Partick, Mandela's legal secretary, says the Afrikaner used the law to escalate racist oppression, and it was the time when the pass laws were intensified and extended to women. The Bantu education was introduced. The Sabotage Act. You know, it was soon after the nationalist government came into power. And every time Parliament said there was a new law against the so-called natives. The year was 1949 and Youth League members announced a plan they called
the program of action. It called for deliberate breaking of laws through nonviolent civil disobedience action that would result in imprisonment. Martin Rahmati, Phillip Matthews and Godfrey Pidgey remember how the program of action instituted a new strategy of mass mobilization and triggered a coup within the ANC. This is the program that made Doc Goma, who was the president, resign and program of action. It meant president and some of the old people could not stand that, but the youth pushed it. And it was up to you to look for employment in 1949, that was. A program of action, Congress, they're very confident, instructed Mandela as a youth Congress president to weigh. Talk to Dr. Muraoka to come. He was he was elected to meet.
Mandela was instructed to tell him that we have now appointed you. We want him to come and take over. The leadership issue was not formed by us, but we grabbed the leadership of the ANC and from there and asked Mandela and some of the youth became members of the national executive. They see the youth leaders. Mandela included were keen observers of the independence struggles sweeping the African continent. They call themselves Pan Africanist. They were convinced that everyone in South Africa was exploiting blacks, even other nonwhites. Fatema, Mr. Nelson himself was an African and he was a member of the youth league. And the Youth League was very averse to working with non Africans. They were set. They were very strong in their feelings and the whole resistance should be African centered. African initiated.
On May Day 1950, the first multiracial anti-apartheid protest was planned. The Communist Party and the Indian Congress called for all workers to stay away from their jobs. I mean, Cachalia was a member of the South African Indian Congress, an organization that wanted to work with the ANC. He says Mandela and other fervent nationalists reacted angrily to the plans for a mayday boycott. They said it failed to acknowledge that blacks in South Africa suffer oppression because of their race and not their worker status. Because Charlier describes youth league verbal attacks on Indians. Go to India and go back to India. Your exploiters, you understand that very racialist South African police attacked me gathering's, killing 18 and injuring more than 30, including three children. But overall, the 1950 mayday protest was considered a success and the turning point in multiracial relations. Mayday, mayday came was that especially in Johannesburg,
100 percent successful. That was the first of many. It was very bitterly cold. On the second they came, Mandela and Walter, they came to the union office. And that's where we take our hats off to you and to work with you. In South Africa, the ruling white minority extends privileged status to coloreds or persons of mixed race. Indians occupy the next place, an Afrikaner racial stratification and blacks are last. Coloreds are the designated management class Indians, the merchants or store owners, blacks, the manual laborers. Mandela biographer and sociologist Fatema MeAre college Indians, Africans. You may be all disenfranchized, but you are. You are experiencing racism in different ways, primarily because they dominate to treat you differently. And that tells all the disenfranchized as well.
Keeping them somewhat apart, make us free from exploitation and nothing. Is my precious life with Gwyneth. Linda. According to Meir, unity was difficult at first, but it was Walter Sisulu, officially classified as colored, who played a critical role in mediating racial tensions among South Africa's nonwhites. Walter was really paving the way. He was more tolerant of other groups. So they had these meetings, very intense meetings that used to go on for long evenings, on many evenings. And then eventually they learned through this talking to
each other. Since May Day 1950, Nelson Mandela and the ANC have been staunchly committed to racial cooperation and establishment of a nonracial East government in South Africa. We have made it very clear in our policy that South Africa is a kind of a country that is home for all the various places in this country. Nelson Mandela and the only known recorded interview conducted underground by the BBC in 1962 with a new action plan and multiracial support, the ANC was invigorated and energized. It set about planning for a national campaign of defiance against unjust laws. The idea was to mobilize the entire country to defy and challenge apartheid laws, especially passbooks and curfews. I mean, Cachalia, it was goofy, had led no African, was allowed into the town after nine o'clock, and if they had to go
somewhere, you had the right to at least bus native so-and-so to and from unprecedently that they keep control. But also at night, the campaign was to begin June 26, 1952, 300 years after the Boers landed in the country. Phillip Matthews says the ANC decided to take its time organizing Nouwen. After taking this program of action, we started to organize the rank and file masses into the movement because we felt that there's nothing we can do without having many people in the movement that they must vote and defy. That's why we organized from 1950 51 up to 50 to June the twenty six. We started not to defy the Defiance campaign. Nelson Mandela was volunteer and chief of the Defiance campaign responsible for recruitment and training of volunteers.
As volunteer in chief, he traveled the whole country meeting and speaking with large and small groups from all tribes and sectors of society. Phillip Matthews and Reggie. Then they are say, one of Mandela's greatest organizing tools was his voice. Nelson Mandela was a powerful speaker who could address people without Mezquita for people could listen. Yeah, exactly what Nelson sees. And he would take his time, but make it his point. You won't even when ask him, what did you mean by saying that, you know, he was that type of orator and speaker, that he could immediately sort of grasp on to things and make use of it? I'll give you an instance. It was during the late 50s, there was a mass meeting in society and it was just about to end when Nelson got onto the platform after very many speakers. And just as Nelson got onto the platform, it was thunder and lightning. So immediately Nelson looked up at the sky and said,
Do you see there? Even the gods are angry that the fires, as they were called, were disciplined and well-trained. They went in white only entrances, stayed out past curfew and went to neighborhoods where blacks were not allowed. The campaign was sustained for over six months and resulted in 8000 arrests. The government responded with stiff jail sentences and lashings for those who broke the law as a form of protest. Nelson Mandela and over 50 other defiance campaign leaders were banned, but the campaign established the ANC as the strongest and most popular black political organization in South Africa. While the Defiance campaign came to a halt, other campaigns were initiated. The potato boycott began when it was discovered that passbook offenders were being sold by the government to farmers for short term migrant labor. Africans would work long hours digging potatoes by hand and were
killed on the spot for working too slowly or for any infraction in Jamie Anjani. You know, when we arrested, you get to the jail. Listen to this. Farmers, if you were there, that's. There, you see, is what caused the potato, because we had the decision that we must make eating our bananas, they make money always our brothers. After the Defiance campaign, Mandela could no longer speak publicly or engage in open political activity. He turned his attention to his family and to law. But the Afrikaner government and its conservative citizens would not leave him alone. Police harassment was constant. Mandela could go nowhere without a white South African wanting to beat him up. Neighbor Phillip Matthews says Mandela was forced to train as a boxer. He was surrounded by death doubtfulness. Every time they meet him, they want to fight him. You know, you stolen have to know the Dutch fellow's union toll and hefty.
This is all you think that they need you? Well, I was forced to take boxing because of that to hit back because first he called need back, but because of them, they have made him to join boxing and included them that you could defeat them even if they are all there will never stand in front of Mandela. He's over there. Yeah. Mandela passed the bar and set up a law office with Oliver Tambo in 1953. Mandela began an illustrious law practice and his brushes with the law intensified. O o o. O o. O o. O o.
Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son
Episode Number
No. 3
Prison Life and the Mandela Family
Producing Organization
Pacifica Radio
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Series Description
"The program is a four-part special and collection of oral histories about the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, imprisoned since 1962 for allegedly fomenting riots and attempting treason, is one of the most celebrated political prisoners in the world and best known dissident in South Africa. The specials demystify the hero and present the person. The recollections of family members, former law partners, neighbors, Robben Island prison mates, political associates and regular citizens create a flesh and blood composite. Describing Mandela's life, the interviewees also provide personal insights into the history of race relations in South Africa and an analysis of the current situation there. "A state of emergency is in effect which limits press access and censors media reporting about South Africa. Reporter/producer Sandra Rattley traveled to South Africa as a tourist and interviewed Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie and other banned or house arrested activists who are restricted by law from making public statements or being quoted by the press. "The four, half hour documentaries merit Peabody consideration because [they] expose radio listeners to points of views not available anywhere else. The programming goes beyond the [headlines], providing depth and human perspective on the day to day realities in the most developed, [resource-rich], and strategically important country in Africa. "The specials are also important because of their timeliness. Political observers consider Nelson Mandela's release from prison imminent. Nelson Mandela has been meeting with representatives of the white minority government of South Africa to discuss ways to democratize the society. South Africans of all races describe Mandela as a catalytic agent, critical to negotiations if there is to be a peaceful solution to the country's problems. "Nelson Mandela is an important figure inside and outside South Africa, having been awarded numerous honors such as the Nehru Award for International Understanding."--1989 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Pacifica Radio
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-fa0681da81f (Filename)
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Duration: 0:30:00
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Chicago: “Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 3; Prison Life and the Mandela Family,” 1989, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 3; Prison Life and the Mandela Family.” 1989. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 3; Prison Life and the Mandela Family. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from