frontline: the long walk of nelson mandela
the prisoner

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What are your thoughts on Nelson Mandela's life, character and leadership? Mandela with Walter Sisulu, Robben Island prison yard, 1966


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was very impressed with all the useful information I had found, after reading all this detailed information on your site. I realized how much Nelson Mandela benifited mankind.

I also learned that Mandela has and continues to live with such discipline and vanity, deep assurance and determination and a political acumen both realistic and visionary.Nelson Mandela is a truly amazing individual.

Melissa Tzotzis
toronto, ontario


Dear FRONTLINE,

i would like to congragulate frontline on a beautifully designed site. it does justice to a great man.

kirk krotz
cape town, western cape


Dear FRONTLINE,

As a proud citizen of Haiti, the first black republic of the World, I can hardly express my thanks about your program that showed me the long path of my big brother, Mr. Nelson Mandela, to freedom. Africa, my motherland, has witnessed with the rest of the world how Mr. Mandela became the first black president of, ironically, a black country. God bless my brothers of South Africa and Long Live to Mr. Mandela.

Edelaine Azor
port-au-prince, haiti


Dear FRONTLINE,

You should do more shows similar to this so my generation can fully understand what it took to liberate the opressed in any country.

J Hightower
baltimore, md


Dear FRONTLINE,

It just goes to show what a person can accomplish if they focus on their goal and sacrifice everything for it. It dosen't hurt to have good woman too, without her he could never acheived the goal. He gave his life for his people and won. So did Jesus.

Mark Sims
phoenix, arizona


Dear FRONTLINE,

Congragulations on your documentary on Madiba. The omissions,of him co-winning the Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk and others,is just an indications that within 8 years of his release, Madiba achieved what no other leader has achieved inthe same peroid. I therefore propose that he officially be declared a man of the century.

Mathe Mphale
ithaca, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

I want to thank-you for the great presenation of the life of Mandela. As a Black Women, I was not aware of all the pain and suffing Mandela and his collegus went though. Along with his family. I just feel bad that Winnie could not take part in the true celebration of the man she fought with, for freedom, to be able to be by his side when he became President.

gwendolyn verner
chicago, il


Dear FRONTLINE,

That there can be such humans as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, creates hope for all of us. Just think of how easily South Africa could have gone the way of Yugoslavia ,and how much better it would be if there were such leaders in Belgrade.

I was once again astounded that such a story can be true, and in tears, even though it is well known to me. I logged on immediately and ordered a copy of the tape.Thanks for producing this wonderful program.

Stuart Heady
austin, texas


Dear FRONTLINE,

Last night's Frontline program on Nelson Mandela was magnificant. He has inspired and reinvigorated my work as a union steward and presents a role model for all humankind. Thank you.

Mary Grant
san francisco, california


Dear FRONTLINE,

Fascinated as I am by the heroism and vision of Nelson Mandela, I find I am also fascinated by many of the leaders in African nations. I would encourage you to continue to put together segments on great African leaders such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyata of Kenya, Haili Selasse of Ethiopia,or Sonny Abacha of Nigeria. Americans are far too uninformed about the greatness that abounds in the leaders and the nations of the dark continent.

James Corrigan
cleveland, ohio


Dear FRONTLINE,

As an African American who has lived in West Africa and have many African friends and family, I found your program on President Mandela inspiring. I have seen and met quite a few intelligent and immensely qualified leaders in my travels. I commend you on your coverage of a leader in a non-European country and I encourage you to offer more insights into leaders elsewhere. I was amazed how little we, as Americans, know about the issues in other countries, while the citizens of other countries know about our news and much of the rest of the world. I didn't become a global person until I left the U.S.. I've always enjoyed Frontline. I applaud your 'out in front' reporting and hope to continue enjoying you for many more years to come.

Louise Benson
milwaukee, wisconsin


Dear FRONTLINE,

Congratulations on a superb program on Mandela last night. It was beautifully produced, the narrator's voice was just right, and some of the footage (especially that taken of Mandela during the "secret" visit by journalists to Robben Island) was a pleasant surprise.

Allow me two points of (hopefully constructive) criticism.

First, some mention could have been made about the process of constitutional negotiation which followed Mandela's release and preceded the 1994 democratic elections. It explains how Mandela could insist successfully on a date for the election after the murder of Chris Hani to help prevent a full-scale revolution. Without this reference, there remains a vacuum. (During those negotiations there was that dramatic incident when Mandela openly rebuked De Klerk.) Above all, it explains one man's role in negotiating a peaceful transfer of power, without the white minority perceiving themselves as losers. Where else has that happened?

Second, mention could have been made about Mandela's unprecedented international stature. For example, his role in making possible the Lockerbie trial, his being only the third recipient of an honorary doctorate/degree from Harvard (after Washington and Churchill), his receiving about a dozen honorary doctorates at the same time at Buckingham Palace (including ones from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge), the Congressional Medal of Honor being conferred upon him, etc. are some indications of his being an international moral symbol the likes of which we see very, very seldom. (I was fortunate to have dinner with Mandela in Cape Town in February, and he mentioned the Harvard degree. He was immensely proud of that recognition, but considered it a recognition of the whole South African nation's role in a peaceful transition of power.)

But these are minor points. The production was superb. (I apologize if these points were mentioned in the program but I somehow missed them.)

Willem Landman
greenville, nc


Dear FRONTLINE,

I have just returned from a visit to South Africa this week and was thrilled to see this docoumentary. It was most informative and timely as the elections will be held the first week in June and should there be violence, I feel certain the press will concentrate on that instead of the "long road" to get to this point. I toured Robben Island while in Cape Town and found it profoundly moving. Much like a visit to the Haulocost Museum or VietNam Memorial. But I think people should know that there is a proposal to sell Robben Island to developers for a Resort/Casino developoment. Toursist seeking such diversions can find them in many locations; there is but one Robben Island. The restoration of the Anglican leper colony church on the island and the tours of prison cells and lime quarry should not be lost to those seeking to understand the evolution of the "long road" lest we believe change does not evolve through perserverance and dedication to purpose,but that it easily evolves.

Susan Munroe
winston-salem, nc


Dear FRONTLINE,

Perhaps the best thing you've done. Dig deeper, especially into the wellspring of Mandela's and his culture's dignity that our life of excess drains from us and replaces with a certain unbecoming brand of self-righteous arrogance.

Wayne Tyson
san diego, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank-you for this insightful program on the life of Nelson Mandela. He is clearly one of the greatest leaders of all times. He demonstrates the power one human being has to enrich all humanity. Many of us are not contained within four walls, have all the resources available to us, and yet we fail to achieve peace with ourselves and others. Nelson Mandela was contained and yet he achieved self-respect, the respect of others, and demonstrated to the world that a human soul can flourish even in the harshest of environments. I am in awe of him.

Carol Brown
squamish, british columbia


Dear FRONTLINE,

I thank Frontline for undertaking this enormous task of biographing the incredible life of one of the most important political leaders of this century.

I must take some umbrage at how Frontline chose to belittle how brutal the white south Afrikaaners were to thier black majority. Also, the horrid, unspeakable crimes done to Nelson Mandela. These things were as bad as the Holocaust, which are quite detailed in its inhumanity. I only wished these things had been brought out to their justififiable light. Otherwise it was somewhat informative; if indeed gross omission is part of learning under white perspective.

Rob Harling
phoenix, az

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