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Chapter 2- Nelson Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?

Answer 1 : The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria, which were attended by dignitaries and world leaders of several nations. In India, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Red Fort are two public buildings that are made of red sandstone.

Question 2 : Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?

Answer 2 : Generally, autumn season signifies the harvest season that is associated with abundance and prosperity. 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa because on this auspicious day, the installation of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government took place in the presence of the largest gathering ever of international leaders on the South African soil.

Question 3 : At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions “an extraordinary human disaster”. What does he mean by this?

Answer 3 :  What is the “glorious … human achievement” he speaks of at the end?

In Mandela’s speech ‘an extraordinary human disaster’, he wanted to express the practice of Apartheid in South Africa. During this practice, there was a racial segregation of people based on colour and the Black people suffered the most as they were discriminated by the rest. They could not enjoy the right to freedom. Mandela was jailed as a prisoner for 18 years on the infamous ‘Robben Island’ where he was mistreated by the authorities. He considered it as “great glorious human achievement” that he became the first Black President of South Africa where the Blacks were deprived of basic needs and suffered different kinds of discrimination and were treated badly.

Question 4 : What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

Answer 4 : Mandela felt extremely privileged to welcome the dignitaries and international leaders at the swearing-in ceremony because it was not too long ago when the South Africans were considered outlaws. He therefore, thanked all of them for having come from far and wide to witness the historical oath-taking ceremony of the first Black President of South Africa. This was a wonderful gesture of international recognition to a newly born free democratic nation. This event could be considered as a common victory for justice, peace and human dignity.

Question 5 : What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?

Answer 5 : Mandela set the ideals of liberating the people of South Africa from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. He wanted the people of the country to enjoy the right to freedom from all forms of bondage and prejudice.

Question 6 : What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed and why?

Answer 6 : The highest military generals of South African defence force and police saluted and pledged their loyalty to Mandela. This was of great significance as otherwise during the Apartheid era they would have arrested him and put him behind the bars. Their attitude changed towards Blacks due to the struggles and sacrifices that were put in by many heroes of South Africa. This struggle for freedom was not just a struggle with Apartheid, but brought a massive change in mindsets of many people. Mandela believed that love is something that could be taught and human beings are naturally inclined towards love more, rather than hate.

Question 7 : Why were two national anthems sung?

Answer 7 : On the auspicious occasion of the inauguration ceremony, two national anthems were sung – the Whites sang ‘Nkosi Sikelel –iAfrika’ and the Blacks sang ‘Die Stem’ that was the old anthem of the Republic. Both the anthems symbolized the equality of rights between Whites and Blacks.

Question 8 : How does Mandela describe the systems of government in his country –

Answer 8 :

(i) in the first decade, and (ii) in the final decade, of the twentieth century?
1. In the first decade of the twentieth century, the white-skinned peoples of South Africa patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the dark-skinned peoples of their own land. This created the basis of one of the harshest, most inhumane, societies the world has ever seen or known.
2. In the final decade of the twentieth century, the previous system of government had been overturned forever and replaced by one that recognised the rights and freedoms of all peoples, regardless of the colour of their skin.

Question 9 : What does courage mean to Mandela?

Answer 9 : According to Mandela, courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. A brave man is not one who does not feel afraid, but one who conquers that fear.

Question 10 : Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?

Answer 10 : Mandela thought that loves comes more naturally to the human heart rather than hate.



Chapter 2- Nelson Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom Contributors


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