A few weeks ago, I finished reading “The Long Walk To Freedom,” Nelson Mandela’s Memoir. It’s a classic 650-page autobiography that tells the story of Mandela’s life, from his early years in rural South Africa to his decades-long struggle against apartheid and eventual rise to become the country’s first black president. The storytelling in the book is top-notch, and I was hooked on it every day.

As I read the book, I couldn’t help but draw some striking similarities between Mandela’s struggle and the ongoing anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Although the anglophone crisis is a complex issue with its unique dynamics, it shares some similarities with South Africa’s apartheid, where a minority white population ruled over a majority black and coloured population. Both struggles involve fighting for the rights of marginalized groups against oppressive regimes, and both require immense courage, sacrifice, and resilience.

More importantly, many personal lessons that Mandela shared in the book spoke to my spirit. One such lesson is the importance of opportunity. Mandela talked about losing track of secondary school friends and classmates who could not further their education despite their academic potential. “It was not the lack of ability that limited my people, but the lack of opportunity,” he wrote. This message resonates with me, highlighting the importance of equal access to education and opportunities for all, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Photo showing a snippet from Mandela's Memoir
Photo showing a snippet of a passage from the memoir

This insight rings true for so many people around the world who are born into circumstances that limit their access to education, job opportunities, and other resources that could help them reach their full potential. Mandela’s words serve as a reminder that we must strive to create a world where everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to opportunities and resources.

Another lesson that stood out to me is the metaphor Mandela shared on relationships. In many ways, our lives are like gardens. We must be mindful of what we cultivate as we eventually harvest its results. We should be cautious about neglecting important relationships; otherwise, when they wither, we might be unable to save them. “Sometimes there is nothing one can do to save something that must die,” he wrote. This message is a powerful reminder that we must prioritize and nurture our relationships, as they are essential to our well-being and happiness.

Reading “The Long Walk To Freedom” was a profound and thought-provoking experience. The book is a testament to Mandela’s strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to justice and equality. The personal lessons shared in the book are universal and applicable to many aspects of life, making it a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and guidance.

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