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?


Dear FRONTLINE,

I'm a so called colored South African who grew up in Cape Town South Africa. I now live in California for the past seven years. I left S.A. in 1991 to study in this country.

This program has really been so insightful, even for me. I was a student back in the eighties and part of the struggle,...but you've open my eyes to behind the scenes "action"! You blew me away and I'm proud to call myself a SOUTH AFRICAN!!

Andre Charles
calabasas, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was tremendously impressed by this program. It showed the maturation of Nelson Mandela, learning how to undertake the dangerous job of liberation: mixing action and restraint. It also showed how that took a toll on his life, and how his own foibles magnified that toll, without in any way belittling him. I was also glad to see the tremendous respect and love - mixed with common sense and lack of idolatry - with which his friends and comrades view him. The show made me more certain than I had been before that Nelson Mandela is one of the most important leaders of humanity's recent (say, the last 300 years) foray into democracy.

Kathy Routliffe
chicago, illinois


Dear FRONTLINE,

I thought I knew something about Nelson Mandela, but I learned a lot from this program. Mandela's life at different points seems to parrallel those of famous African-American leaders such as Dr. King and Malcom X. It's interesting that prison seems to be the place that Mandela embarked on a more non-violent path. I've often wondered what Dr. King or Malcom X would be like if they hadn't been murdered. Perhaps they would be like Mandela is today.

John Drake
hoove, al


Dear FRONTLINE,

To me, Mandela's life, character and leadership reflects a framework or structure created of rationalism and patience that represents the only solution to many of the domestic problems the US is encountering today.

Linda Karlsson
catskill, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

This is the greatest statesman of our century - a man whose mind guides his emotions, one of the few resistance leaders who could lead in peace... an amazing achievement. Truth and Reconciliation are underprized virtues, but the only ones that unite people for the future.

Anne Tait
toronto, ontario


Dear FRONTLINE,

This documentary gave me so much insight into one of the this century's greatest leaders. Not just for South Africa but for the world. His efforts of reconciliation for his country is a perfect model for ours. We need to follow his footsteps to free minorities of their oppression but also free whites of their fear. In the end it must come to reconciliation or the alternative is not one that would honor our Constitution, our people, or our God

Jorge Sague
norfolk, va



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