SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-2| Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-2| Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to FreedomNCERT/SCERT Class 10 English Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 10 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-2| Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Question Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


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SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-2| Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

SEBA Class 10 English Chapter 2| Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedomd Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 10 English Beehive provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the author-Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Mandiba clan in Transkei, on July 18, 1918. His father was the chief of the city of Mvezo. Christened ‘Nelson’ by his school teacher, Mandela was the first person from his family to attend school. Even though both his parents were illiterate, Mandela went on to become a lawyer. A devout Christian, Mandela soon became a leader in the African National Congress and a guiding beacon in the fight against apartheid. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. He was classified a terrorist and imprisoned. He spent 27 years in prison, yet never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. He was released in 1990 under international pressure. He continued to fight to end apartheid, and finally in 1994 all races were allowed to vote and Mandela became President of South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He died on December 5, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiographical piece that outlines the end of apartheid in South Africa and the beginning of a new, unbiased form of government. In this textual which is an extract from his autobiography, Nelson Mandela talks of the day he was inaugurated as the first black President of a new nation, vividly describing the presence of international leaders who had come to welcome the wind of change that was now blowing over his country. He reflects on the struggles that lead to this momentous day. He reminisces about all the countless days of struggle and suffering that he and many brave African patriots, who had since passed away, had to face to end the decades of oppression and brutality. He discusses his own upbringing and how the realisation dawned upon him as he grew from a child to a youth that he and all his people of dark skin were not free, and how he then became animated to fight for freedom for all. In doing so he was separated from his family and forced to live a life of secrecy and rebellion. This piece ends on a thoughtful note that not only is the freedom of the oppressed curtailed, but the oppressor too is prisoned by the hatred in his mind – the prejudices and his narrow mindedness.

1. Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?

 Ans. The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre at Pretoria, formed by the Union Buildings. 

There are many public buildings in India that are made of sandstone. They include the Red fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, and Swaminarayan Temple in New Delhi, the palace and buildings of Fatehpur Sikri, Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, Mosque at Taj Mahal, Maharaja’s Palace at Jaisalmer, besides governmental buildings like the Parliament House, Presidential House, Supreme Court building, etc. in Delhi.

2. Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?

Ans. South Africa is located in the Southern hemisphere, so autumin falls in the month of May. Thus 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa.

3. At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions “an extraordinary human disaster.” What does he mean by this? What is the “glorious… human achievement” he speaks of at the end?

Ans. The ‘extraordinary human disaster that Mandela mentions at the beginning of his speech is a reference made to the practice of apartheid that was followed in South Africa. This practice had led to the segregation of the human society on the basis of race and it denied the black people all their constitutional rights  while allowing the white skinned people to rule over them. 

     The end of apartheid leading to the establishment of a democratic government free from any racial bindings was the ‘glorious… human achievement’ that Mandela speaks of at the end of his speech. It was the beginning of the formation of a more tolerant society that neither believed in racial discrimination nor in the oppression of one by another. Thus the election of a democratic government in South Africa, that too with a ‘black’ as its president, was a ‘glorious human achievement’ because it meant liberation of the nation’s citizens from all forms of discrimination based on caste, creed or colour.

4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

Ans. Mandela in his speech thanks the international leaders for being with the African people and supporting them in their jubilant victory over racial discrimination by recognising the newly formed nation. The presence of international leaders on South African soil also meant the renewal of diplomatic ties with all the foreign countries that had earlier boycotted the nation because of its apartheid system of governance. So Mandela aptly thanks them for their presence.

5. What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa? 

Aus. Mandela has high hopes about the future of the newly formed nation of South Africa and accordingly sets out a few ideals that he hopes will help the nation prosper and advance. Mandela dreams of a nation free from poverty and sufferings. He wants the society to be free from racial and gender discriminations. All people were to be treated as one and were to work as one to liberate everyone from the bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering and all kinds of discrimination. 

Oral comprehension check

1. What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?

Ans. The military generals march past Mandela as he stands on the podium and salute him. In doing so, they pledge their loyalty to him and to the newly formed nation of South Africa.

      The abolition of apartheid system has led to the change in the attitude of the military officials. Earlier during the apartheid era, the law was biased and black skinned people, especially those who stood up against apartheid, were treated as outlaws; in that situation these same generals would have arrested Mandela. But in the new nation,  due to unimaginable sacrifices by countless patriots, outlooks had changed and after fair elections Mandela was chosen as the

President of the nation. So those same people who would earlier have arrested Mandela, now salute him.

2. Why were the two national anthems sung? 

Ans. The two national anthems were sung to show solidarity, mutual acceptance and reverence to both. Rising above racial barriers, the blacks and the whites sang what had been “the other’s anthem until that day, while also singing their own anthem. The singing of both the national anthems was symbolic of the people’s intent to build a multicultural nation devoid of any kind of discrimination.

3.  How does Mandela describe the systems of government in his country 

(i) in the first decade, and 

(ii) in the final decade, of the twentieth century?

Ans. In the first decade of the twentieth century, the government in Mandela’s country created one of the most inhumane societies that was based on social discrimination and intolerance, under the practice of apartheid. On the other hand, in the final decade of the twentieth century, after years of struggle and sacrifice by a countless number of people, the system of apartheid was revoked and replaced by a system of a free society that recognised the rights of all people, irrespective of their race and creed.

4.  What does courage mean to Mandela?

Ans. Courage, to Mandela, means man’s triumph over his fears. It does not mean an absence of fear but rather the ability to conquer one’s fears.

5. Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?

 Ans. Mandela thinks that love comes naturally to human beings and hatred is a feeling cultivated over time due to social or political pressures.

1. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

Ans. Mandela says that each person has twin obligations, i.e. two duties that he is bound to fulfil; the first, obligations to the members of his family – parents, wife and children; and the second, obligations to his people, his community and his country.

2. What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honourable freedoms”?

Ans. When Mandela was a boy, being free meant the ability to run around in the fields near his home, to swim in the village stream, to roast corn under the open sky and to ride on the backs of the bulls.

     As a student, freedom to him meant being able to stay out at night, read whatever he wanted to, and go wherever he chose to go. As Mandela grew up he soon realised that these were all transitory or temporary freedoms, and the desire for basic and honourable freedom came to him with youth. These included a desire to do all that he had the potential ability to do, to earn his own living, to get married and have a family – and do all that he could do in living a life that was lawful.

3. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/Why not?

Ans. Mandela believes that like the oppressed the oppressor too is not free. In being able to oppress another human being, one already is jailed behind the bars of prejudice and narrow mindedness; and in taking away someone’s freedom the oppressor himself becomes a prisoner of hatred.

(Textural  Exercises)

1. Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?

Ans. Since the first decade of the twentieth century South Africa had adopted a system of apartheid by which the white skinned people dominated over the dark-skinned Africans in an inhumane manner. This had caused the international community to shun and boycott the nation. However, after years of struggle by the locals, led mainly by Nelson Mandela, apartheid came to an end and democratic elections in which all races participated, were held. Nelson Mandela’s party won and he was declared the President. To celebrate the end of apartheid, to declare that South Africa was now accepted as a part of the international community, to pay their respects to the man who had made it possible, and to attend the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black President, such a larg number of international leaders had come.

      It signified the triumph of humanity and justice over unjun social discrimination. 

2.  What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?

Ans. There had been thousands of African patriots who had laid down their lives fighting apartheid. Mandela says that he stands as a representative of all those patriots, that he alone is not responsible for achieving freedom but stands to represent the sufferings and courage of all those who had died fighting for the cause.

3.  Would you agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”? How does Mandela illustrate this? Can you add your own examples to this argument?

 Ans. Yes, I agree with Mandela that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”. Mandela illustrates this by giving the example of how years and years of oppression and brutality in South Africa had produced many great leaders who had extraordinary courage, wisdom and generosity. He intends to say that the more severe the brutality faced by them, the greater was their courage. But since such brutality has now become a thing of the past, so the chances of seeing such people too have been diminished.

    The Indian struggle for Independence too gave birth to many freedom fighters whose courage and wisdom remain unmatched till today. The greater the oppression by the British, the more was the resilience and the greater was the determination of the Indians to free themselves of bondage.

4. How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?

Ans. When Mandela was young he believed that   freedom was just being allowed to do simple things for himself-like playing as he wanted, reading what he liked and going wherever he chose. However as he grew up he realised that true freedom meant not to be obstructed in any way in living a lawful life, and it dawned upon him that neither he nor his people were truly free. He then joined the African National Congress and the  hunger for his own freedom grew into a hunger for the freedom of all his people. He now desired that they live a life of dignity and self-respect denied to them by the apartheid-practising white government.

5. How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

Ans. Mandela’s realisation that his people were not being allowed to live a life of dignity and self-respect in their own country awoke in him a hunger to fight for the freedom of his countrymen, and for this he joined the African National Congress, He was now an awakened human being with a serious purpose. He who used to fear his oppressors now became a bold speaker who had the courage to stand up against them; he who had willingly followed the law as an attorney, now became a criminal in the eyes of the white law; he who had loved life, now lived the life of a monk; and he who had loved his family was now forced to live away from them.

additional question with Answers

1. Who accompanied Nelson Mandela on the day of the inauguration? Who were sworn in before him?

 Ans. His daughter, Zenani accompanied Nelson Mandela on the day of the inauguration. The second deputy president, Mr De Klerk and the first deputy president. Mr Thabo Mbeki were sworn in before Nelson Mandela.

2.  According to Nelson Mandela what does the spectacular display by his country’s military force on the day of his inauguration as President, signify?

Ans. According to Nelson Mandela the spectacular display by South Africa’s military force on the day of his inauguration as President, while putting up a show of precision and force, also signified that the country’s military was now loyal to democracy and to a government that had been freely and fairly elected.

3. From who does Mandela say, did he learn the meaning of courage? What did he learn about courage?

Ans. Mandela says that his comrades who fought and struggled with him against apartheid taught him the meaning of courage. Seeing them stand up to the harshest brutality with a resilience that defied imagination, seeing them take the gravest risks and even give up their lives for an idea, seeing them stand unrelenting to severe torture gave him a new meaning for courago. He learnt that courage was not, not being afraid, but the conquest of fear.

4. What was it that gave Mandela a glimmer of hope when he was in prison?

Ans. When Mandela was in prison, he had to undergo severe torture and other mind-blowing situations which could break anyone but in the midst of all the brutality he sometimes saw a flicker of compassion in one of the guards. This display of humanity, though very brief, would reassure him and give him hope to keep going.

5. What does Mandela mean when he says “Freedom is indivisible.” (ii) “The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity,”

Ans. (1) When Mandela realised that his people were not free to live a life of liberty, dignity and self-respect, he could no longer enjoy the limited freedom that he was allowed. He   felt that as long as even one of his people had to suffer brutality, it would mean that all his people were suffering.  Hence when his people were tied by the chains of bondage,how could he be free? Hence he says, “Freedom is indivisible.”

(2) When fighting for the freedom of his people, Mandela believed that along with his people, those who were oppressing them too needed to be freed. They too were prisoners of hatred because they were prejudiced and narrow-minded. They could not be truly free, if they were responsible for snatching away the freedom of others, as in doing so they were being inhuman. Thus Mandela says, “The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

1A letter To God
2Nelson Mandela (A Long
Walk To Freedom)
3Glimpses of India
IITea From Assam
4Madam Rides the Bus
5A Tiger in the Zoo
7The Ball Poem
8The Tale of Custard the Dragon
1The Midnight Visitor
2A Question of Trust
3Footprint without Feet
4The Hack Driver

Reference to the Context:

  1. “The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. Let freedom reign. God bless Africa.” 

(i) Who is speaking these words and what is the occasion? 

Ans. These words are being spoken by Nelson Mandela. He has just been sworn in as the first black President of South Africa and is addressing the large gathering that includes many international leaders. 

(ii) What human achievement is he making reference to? 

Ans. After decades of struggle he and his people have been able to put an end to apartheid and hold free and fair elections in South Africa. Mandela, was elected as the first black president of South Africa. The people of South Africa are now truly free. This is the human achievement Mandela is making reference to.

(iii) What has been the speaker’s role in this achievement?

Ans. Nelson Mandela spent his whole life fighting against apartheid. He even had to spend thirty years in prison.

2 “I was not unmindful of the fact that not so many years before they would not have saluted but arrested me.” 

(i) From which lesson is this statement from? Who is the writer? 

Ans. This statement is from the lesson ‘Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom’. It is an autobiographical piece and Nelson Mandela himself is the writer.

(ii) Who is ‘they’ in the given statement?

Ans. In the given statement by ‘they’ Mandela is referring to the highest generals of the South African defence force and police.

(iii) What was the situation a few years before and why would ‘they’ have arrested him?

Ans. A few years before South Africa had a political system of apartheid where white-skinned people dominated over the dark-skinned locals in a most inhuman manner. Mandela and his comrades lived as rebels fighting against this system and were termed outlaws by the government. Hence these generals who were then loyal to their. government would have arrested him.

3. “I was pained that I was not able to thank them and that they were not able to see what their sacrifices had wrought.”

(i) Who is the speaker? 

Ans. The speaker is Nelson Mandela.

(ii) Who are ‘them’? Why does the speaker want to thank them?

Ans. In the statement, by ‘them’ Mandela means those numerous African patriots who had died before South Africa attained freedom from apartheid. These African patriots of extraordinary courage, wisdom and generosity had made unimaginable sacrifices so that their people could be free and live a life of dignity and self-respect. It was as a result of their efforts that South Africa was finally free and elections had been held and Nelson Mandela elected president. For their numerous sacrifices and efforts Mandela wants to thank them. 

(iii) What had ‘their’ sacrifices wrought? 

Ans. The sacrifices of the African patriots had allowed them to finally secure freedom for their people from apartheid. 

4. “In South Africa, a man who tried to fulfil his duty to his people was inevitably ripped from his family and his home and was forced to live a life apart, a twilight existence of secrecy and rebellion.”

(i) From whose autobiography are these words taken? 

Ans. These words are from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

(II) Is the writer referring to himself also when he writes the above words? Which line in the text proves this?

Ans. Yes the writer, i.e. Nelson Mandela is also referring to himself when he writes the above words. We know this when he later says, “It was this desire for freedom of my people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that animated my life, that turned a family-loving … husband into a man without a home, that forced a life-loving man to live like a monk.”

(iii) Give the verb words for existence and rebellion.

Ans. Exist and rebel. 

5. “I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free – free in every way that I could know.” 

(I) Who is the speaker of these words?

Ans. Nelson Mandela is the speaker of these words. 

(ii) Was he actually born free? Why?

Ans. He was not actually born free because he was born into a society that was dominated over by another society which practised governance by apartheid.

(iii) When did he get the ‘hunger to be free”?

Ans. He got the ‘hunger to be free’ in his youth when he realised that not only was his freedom curtailed but it was the same for all those who looked like him.

■ Multiple Choice Questions:

1. On the inauguration day the old anthem ‘Die Stem’ was sung by_______

(a) The Whites

(b) The Blacks

(c) By both the groups 

(d) By none

2. On the day of the inauguration Mandela was accompanied by_______ 

(a) his daughter i

(b) his wife

(c) his ministers

(d) his son

3. Mandela joined the__________

(a) African Congress

(b) South African Congress

(c) National Congress 

(d) African National Congress

4. In his speech Mandela says that before the elections he and his men were termed________

(a) outlaws

(b) in-laws

(c) oppressors

(d) patriots

Answer to MCQ

1. (c) by both the groups

2. (a) his daughter

3. (d) African National Congress 

4. (a) outlaws

 Thinking about Language 

1. There are nouns in the text (formation, government) which are formed from the corresponding verbs (form, govern) by suffixing -(at)ion or ment. There may be a change in the spelling of some verb – noun pairs: such as rebel, rebellion; constitute, constitution.

1. Make a list of such pairs of nouns and verbs

in the text.



rebellionconstitutioninaugurationoppressioncelebration imaginationinstallationexpressionseparationemancipation discriminationachievementdemonstrationdomination inclinationexistencedeprivationsufferingrebel constituteinaugurateoppresscelebrate imagineinstallexpressseparateemancipate discriminateachievedemonstratedominateincline existdeprive suffer

2. Read the paragraph below. Fill in the blanks with the noun forms of the verbs in the brackets. 

Martin Luther King’s …….(contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the…….. (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean ……..(subjugate) and police and the legal system. Beating, ……..(humiliate) by the ……..(imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent.

…….(resist) to racial injustice. 

Ans. Martin Luther King’s contribution to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the assistance of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean subjugation and humiliation by the police and the legal system. Beatings, imprisonment and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent resistance to racial injustice.

III. Idiomatic Expressions

Match the italicised phrases in Column A with the phrase nearest in meaning in Column B. (Hint: First look for the sentence in the text in which the phrase in Column A occurs.)

1. I was not unmindful of the fact 121

2. when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits

3. to reassure me and keep me going

4. the basic and honourable freedoms of.. earning my keep…
(i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact(ii) was not careful about the fact (iii) forgot or was not aware of the fact
(i) pushed by the guards to the wall (ii) took more than our share of beatings(iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer 
(i) make me go on walking(ii) help me continue to live in hope in this very difficult situation (iii) make me remain without complaining
(i) earning enough money to live on (ii) keeping what I earned (iii) getting a good salary


1. I was not unmindful of the fact
2. when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits 
3. to reassure me and keep me going 

4. the basic and honourable freedoms of earning my keep…
(i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact
(iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer

(ii) help me continue to live in hope in this very difficult situation 
(i) earning enough money to live on

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