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  • Ever since I've learnt that I would have the privilege of interviewing today's guest I've

  • been referring to it as the interview of the lifetime.

  • For me it indeed is. I'm thrilled the day has finally arrived.

  • Today a legend comes to life as we welcome one of the world's great heroes: Nelson Mandela.

  • (A song dedicated to Mandela) He is a universal hero.

  • One of the most extraordinary people of all times. A man whose warm, courage and unshakable commitment

  • to freedom has inspired millions of all ages and races all around the world.

  • When he was 12 his father died, but his guardian the tribal king insured he received the best

  • education. When he was 23 he defied the king and fled

  • to Johannesburg. In that city he confronted the ruthless system

  • of segregation called apartheid for the first time.

  • Under those laws brutally enforced by South Africa's whites, blacks could not vote, move

  • to the country without showing the passbook or owned property.

  • Injustices which angered and humiliated Mandela. Soon he became a prominent figure in the fight

  • to end apartheid even risking prison by burning his passbook. Then in 1960 security forces

  • viciously attacked a peaceful demonstration killing 69 black protesters.

  • That brutal massacre changed everything. Leaving his family, Mandela went underground.

  • He directed a foreign journalist with secret hideout and gave this inflammatory interview

  • rejecting non-violence. It made him South Africa's most wanted man.

  • ''There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking

  • peace and non violence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks''.

  • He was arrested and in 1964 four charged with treason, facing the death penalty.

  • He showed incredible courage and in active shocking defiance Mandela astonished nation

  • wearing tribal dress in his trial and by giving this speech one of the century's great rallying

  • cries for freedom. I had fought against white domination.

  • And I have fought against black domination.

  • I have cherished the ideal of a perfect democratic and free society.

  • If needs be, It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

  • Just 46 years old Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island the Alcatraz

  • of South Africa. He lost his older son and beloved mother each

  • time the authorities refused to let him attending to funeral.

  • By the 1980 the campaign to free Mandela had ignited at home and abroad.

  • His long captivity had made him a legend. In the late '80's,

  • responding to international pressure the government opened secret negotiations with Mandela.

  • On February 11th 1990 Nelson Mandela walked free for the first time in 27 years.

  • It seemed and those first joyous moments of freedom that the struggle was over but it

  • had only just begun. It was among his country's saddest hours,

  • as the white minority resisted calls for the country's first open election - violence erupted.

  • Soon South Africa stood on the brink of civil war and Mandela was the only hope.

  • Using the force of his moral integrity he worked to unite his divided country.

  • Urging South Africans to seek reconciliation not revenge.

  • Go back to your schools, factories, mines and communities, we are going forward.

  • Through it all Nelson Mandela continue pushing the true democracy and the right to vote for

  • all. South African's first ever free election will

  • take place April 26th 1994. Nelson Mandela with a run for president.

  • For 2 days millions of people lined up across South Africa. Waiting to exercise the basic

  • right Nelson Mandela had sacrificed so much to attain.

  • For black South Africans including Mandela it was the first time ever they could vote.

  • As he casts his own ballot. Nelson Mandela told reporters it made him

  • feel like a complete man. It's one of the greatest honors of my career

  • to welcome Nelson Mandela. (A song dedicated to Mandela)

  • (Shouting) I think in the world of heroes, living heroes

  • he stands, he stays number one for me because his ability to withstand years of apartheid.

  • And 27 years in prison and to come out of it with the grace and forgiveness.

  • It's the greatest lesson of our time. How does the man spend 27 years in prison

  • put thereby an oppressor and come out of that experience with not a harder stone, not a

  • cold heart but a heart that is willing to forgive and embrace.

  • Are you remembering talking to you, one night over dinner and you had said to me that our

  • hatred for the oppressor was so intense we did not see the value of talking to him.

  • So at what point did you see the value of letting go of the hatred and begin the process of

  • talking. Well, let me say first that it's a great tragedy

  • to spend at the best of your lives in prison. But if I had not been to prison, I would not

  • have been able to achieve the most difficult task in life and that is changing yourself.

  • I had that opportunity because in prison you have what we don't have, in our work outside

  • prison. The opportunity to sit down and think which

  • is an important part.... Did you need 27 years of it?

  • You could have taken few days or week, a vacation. Did you need 27 years?

  • Well even to try to change yourself is a process.

Ever since I've learnt that I would have the privilege of interviewing today's guest I've

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Oprah Winfrey hosts Nelson Mandela. (with English subtitle)

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    Shirley posted on 2014/05/13
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