A Long Walk to Freedom

Some of you may recognize the headline as the title of the autobiography of Nelson Mandela.  I did not get my headline from his book; this is my story of my Life.

 Yet indeed, we have both been on our long walks; we shared the same side of the road for a long time once but my walk was not influenced by him; he didn’t know about me and I am sure that I had no influence on his walks.

 But I may mention him again in this Post.  I don’t know at this stage; we will see about it.

 Not much in literature was written from Africa until a hundred years ago; writing was mostly confined to government recordings of events.  The people of Africa didn’t write anything for the simple reason that the written language did not exist in Africa or its many languages.  What was written was hardly ever read by Africa for the equally simple reason that Africa could not read either and unfortunately that is only now beginning to change.  If any reader takes the previous sentence as disparaging I cannot help it; it is not intended to be; if you don’t understand that you will never understand Africa.

 I now wish to refer you to my previous Post that will be submitted together with this one and another one to follow.  There will be a common thread between the three Posts but you will find other threads depending on how you wish to interpret it.

The first one has just been submitted and you will find it when you click on Mark the Twain right here.

It is necessary to give you an example of a recent experience.

 More of it will be in the third Post that will be called ‘A Tale from Africa’ and you will soon see how it develops but I merely want to refer to a small incident that frightened and saddened me.

 Early June last year I visited our son in Johannesburg.  He and his wife have an “extended” family of four black children; they call him Dad because the mother work for him [she also calls him Dad and I am the “adopted” Grandfather] though the mother is actually a little older than our son.

 The oldest of the children matriculated in 2009 and is on her way to a career.  The two in the middle have just started attending the top English High school in the Johannesburg area and the youngest one is still in the nearby Primary school in standard three, or form five as it is sometimes called [he is about 11 now] and all four of them speak, read and write a good standard of modern English and the South African version of Dutch called Afrikaans.  All four children are reasonably bright and the two in the middle are brilliant students.

 They all bring their exam tests home for their mother and for Mom and Dad and that is how old Grandfather got to see how they are doing in the June exams of 2010.

I went through it day after day, greatly impressed, but had not seen any History papers by the end of the week and I asked them [one had brought a little friend to meet Granddad on that day and I was now surrounded by five young brains of the nation, all very intelligent as I said] and the answer nearly shocked me off my chair.

 The rest of the story will appear in ‘A Tale from Africa” and the link will come in here as soon as all three Posts have been submitted.

 All I want to say now is that the answer about History made me do a fast check because I was so astonished by their answers.  I thought of some quick test and asked them all who could tell me how far Russia is from China.

 The answer from each of five brilliant young brains of five likeable young teenager children was a shy “No. I don’t know” and a little later “They don’t teach us anything about that at school.”  That is the reason for this Post.

 They were all born after Mandela’s release from captivity and, except for the oldest one, all after Freedom had finally arrived.

 This may be a test for each one of you.  Ask a few children or as many as you can in your neighborhood school to tell you how far China is from Russia.  Please do it and let me know your comments in here.

 To be continued

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2 Responses to “A Long Walk to Freedom”

  1. A Tale from Africa « Ike Jakson’s Blog Says:

    […] Ike Jakson’s Blog Ike on People Affairs, assisted by Uylen Spiegel of the Global Mirror « A Long Walk to Freedom […]

  2. Mark the Twain « Ike Jakson’s Blog Says:

    […] assisted by Uylen Spiegel of the Global Mirror « Joe, the Mind reader and his Pal A Long Walk to Freedom […]

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