The Last Mile: Nelson Mandela’s 1962 tour of Africa to rally support for the ANC led to a 27-year imprisonment. Following his release in 1990, this 1992 report captures Mandela’s landmark tour of Africa as a free man.
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In 1962 Mandela toured Africa as a wanted man, drumming up support for the ANC’s armed struggle. In 1992 he toured again, this time as a free man welcomed by heads of state. This film captured that landmark journey.
“On both occasions I went as a freedom fighter”, Mandela recalls. Yet this trip showed a more circumspect Mandela, one who insists, “We have confidence in the leadership of each different country”. In the Ivory Coast Mandela even attempted to build bridges with the despot Houphet-Boigny, who showed him scant support whilst he was imprisoned. Yet the trip was to prove a turning point, invigorating Mandela and injecting a greater confidence into the ANC. “A firm impression we have come back with is the support of the whole continent of Africa”. Thirty years earlier he had returned to South Africa as a wanted man. This time he returned to constitutional negotiations with those who once branded him a terrorist. “We are travelling the last mile”, he smiles.
Jennifer Pogrund – Ref:5873
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