Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom || Important Questions || Class 10 English First Flight || Chapter 2

Share Now on

Chapter – 2

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

In this post, we have given the Important Questions of chapter 2 “Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. It is the 2nd chapter of the prose of Class 10th English.

BoardCBSE Board, UP Board, JAC Board, HBSE Board, UBSE Board, PSEB Board, RBSE Board
ClassClass 10
SubjectEnglish First Flight
Chapter no.Chapter 2
Chapter NameNelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
CategoryClass 10 English Important Questions
Class 10 English Ch 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Important Questions

Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

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

Criss Cross Classes BookPrinted Books Are Available Now!

Answer: The ceremonies took place in the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria, which were attended by dignitaries and leaders of many nations. In India; Rashtrapati Bhavan and Red Fort are buildings made of red sandstone.

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

Answer: As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, may falls in the autumn season. Thus 10th May is an ‘autumn day’.

Question 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?

Answer: By ‘an extraordinary human disaster’ Mandela means to state the practice of apartheid in South Africa. During this there was a racial segregation based on colour and the blacks suffered a lot. They were not allowed to demand freedom or any right. Mandela himself did spend many years on infamous ‘Robben Island’ as a prisoner where he was beaten mercilessly. He considered it as great glorious human achievement that a black person became the President of a country where the blacks were not even considered human beings and were treated badly.

Question 4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for ?

Answer: Mandela felt very privileged to welcome the international leaders at the swearing – in ceremony because not too long ago, the South Africans were considered outlaws. He thus thanks all of them for having come to witness the historical ceremony. This was a gesture of international recognition to a newly born free democratic nation and it could be considered as a common victory for justice, peace and human dignity.

Question 5. What ideals does Nelson Mandela set for the future of South Africa?

Answer: Nelson Mandela set the ideals of liberating people from bondage of poverty, deprivation and suffering. He also set the ideal for a society where there would be no discrimination based on gender or racial origins.

Question 6. What did the military generals do ? How did their attitude change and why?

Answer: The highest military generals of South African defence force saluted Mandela and pledged their loyalty which was of great significance as during apartheid era they would have arrested him. The change in their attitude was because of struggle and sacrifices put in by many heroes of South Africa. This struggle not only ensured the freedom of a nation struggling with apartheid, bur brought a change in mindsets of many. He believed that love can also be taught and human being is naturally inclined towards love rather than hate.

Question 7. Why were two national anthems sung?

Answer: One the auspicious occasion of the inauguration two national anthems: one by the Whites and the other by the Blacks symbolising the equality of the Blacks and the Whites were sung.

Question 8. 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?


  • In the first decade of the century, the whites erected a system of racial domination against the blacks, thus creating the basis of one of the harshest and most inhumane societies the world had ever known.
  • In the final decade of the 20th century, the . previous system had been overturned and replaced by one which recognised rights and freedom of all people regardless of color of their skin.

Question 9. What does courage mean to Mandela?

Answer: For Mandela courage does not mean the absence of fear but a victory over fear. According to him brave men need not be fearless but should be able to conquer fear.

Question 10. Which does Mandela think is natural, to love or to hate?

Answer: For Mandela, love comes more naturally to the human heart than hate.

Question 11. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

Answer: Mandela mentions that every man has twin obligations. The first is to his family, parents, wife and children; the second obligation is to his people, his community and his country.

Question 12. 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”?

Answer: Like any other kid, for Mandela freedom meant to make merry and enjoy the blissful life. Once one becomes an adult, antics of childhood looks like transitory because most of the childish activities are wasteful from an adult’s perspective. Once you are adult, you have to earn a livelihood to bring the bacon home. Its only then when you get an honourable existence in the family and in the society.

Question 13. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/why not?

Answer: Mandela does not think that the oppressor is free because according to him an oppressor is a victim of hatred who is behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. He realises that both the oppressor and the oppressed are robbed of their humanity and peace.

Answer the Following Questions

Question 1. What encouraged the policy of apartheid in South Africa?

Answer. South Africa attracted the white people because of its minerals and gems. The war for domination ensued henceforth. After the Anglo-Boer war, the white people started ruling over the native black-skinned South Africans. This system of racial domination i.e. the apartheid was used to exploit the blacks.

Question 2. What did ‘being free’ mean to Mandela as a boy and as a student?

Answer.  As a boy ‘being free’, meant to Nelson Mandela to wander free in fields, to swim freely, and to run through the village. As a student-to stay out at night, to read what he pleased and to go wherever he chose was ‘being free’.

Question 3. Why is 10th May, 1994 important for South Africa?

Answer. 10th May, 1994 is important for South Africa as the inaugural oath taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues took place on that day. Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after three centuries of white rule.

Question 4. What are the twin obligations Nelson Mandela talks about in his speech?

Answer.  According to Nelson Mandela, every man has twin obligations—one is towards his family and the other is  towards his people and his country. But in the reign of Apartheid if one tried to fulfill his duty towards his people, he was ripped off with his family and home.

Question 5. What is the dream of Nelson Mandela for the future of South Africa?

Answer. Mandela dreamt that his country should be free from poverty and discrimination. No country man should be oppressed on the basis of colour and creed. He wished the Sun of freedom to shine on his country forever.

Question 6. What animated Mandela’s life and transformed a frightened young lawyer into a bold criminal?

Answer. It was the desire for the freedom of his people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that animated his life. It transformed a frightened young man into a bold one. It drove a law abiding attorney to be a criminal. It turned a family loving husband to live like a monk.

Question 7. What pained Nelson Mandela on becoming the President of South Africa?

Answer. Mandela was pained by his inability to thank his comrades who were unable to see what their sacrifices had brought. He remembered the suffering and courage of thousand of patriots, who fought for the same cause.

Question 8. Why did Nelson Mandela said, “The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

Answer. Nelson Mandela said so because the oppressed were robbed, when they suffered all that was against humanity and the oppressor had to kill the good human being within himself before doing anything cruel to the other person.

Question 9. How does Nelson Mandela define the meaning of ‘courage’ and ‘the brave man’?
Answer.  According to Nelson Mandela, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. In the same way, the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Question 10. What Mandela meant when he is simply the sum of all those African patriots who had gone before him?

Answer. Nelson Mandela was a patriot. Like all other patriots, he felt the need of political independence and also underwent tortures by the whites of his own country. He included three persons in his list who were role model for him.

Question 11. Explain Mandela’s experience of freedom as a child and as an adult.

Answer.  As a child he was free he was free to run in the fields, free to swim, ran through the fields at will, everything seemed to be good and exciting. But as he gradually grew up he realised his childhood freedom was actually no freedom. As he reached adulthood he realised his freedom has already been taken away. He observed that not only his but that of others’ freedom too was missing. Mandela thought that the chains on others was a chain on him also. His desire, that everyone should live with dignity and self-respect, propelled him to fight till the end to get freedom.

Question 12. How did the desire for the freedom of his people change Nelson Mandela’s life?

Answer. The desire for the freedom of his people totally animated Nelson Mandela’s life. He was transformed from a frightened young man to a bold one. The desire turned a law abiding attorney to a criminal. A family loving husband was turned into a man without a home, changed a life-loving man into a monk. Mandela was no more virtuous as self sacrificing, but he could not even enjoy poor and limited freedom. He felt himself robbed when he came to know that his people were not free. He felt the slavery of his people as slavery of his own. It was this desire for the freedom of his people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that changed his life. He was allowed freedom when he knew his people were not free. Freedom was indivisible. The chains on anyone of his people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all his people were the chains on him also. He felt the pain and fought for them.

Question 13. How did Nelson Mandela describe the scene of the inauguration?

Answer. The oath-taking ceremony of Nelson Mandela was a historic occasion. Dignitaries and representatives of 140 countries came to attend it. The ceremony took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheater. He had gone there with his daughter Zenani. First, Mr. De Klark the 2nd Deputy President, then after Thabo Mbeki the 1st Deputy President were sworn in. Nelson Mandela took the oath as the President. He pledged to obey and uphold the constitution and devote himself to the well-being of the republic and its people. After the ceremony, the display of military force was carried out. Finally, the jets left off smoke trails of different colours e.g. black, red, green, blue and golden which were the colours of the New South African flag. In the end, two National Anthems were sung by the whites and the blacks. It was a jubilant moment for him.

Thinking about the Text

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

Answer: To be the part of the inauguration, international leaders showed a gesture of solidarity from international community to the idea of end of apartheid. It was the significance of the victory of good over evil and triumph of a tolerant society without any discrimination.

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

Answer: By saying that he is simply the sum of all those African patriots, Mandela wants to pay his tribute to all the people who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. He says that he is grateful to those who had gone before him because those heroes of past had paved the path of co-operation and unity for him. Therefore, he could try to come to power to bring equality for his people with their support.

Question 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 ?

Answer: I agree with the statement that depths of oppression create heights of character. Nelson Mandela illustrates this by giving examples of great heroes of South Africa like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and others who were inspired to sacrifice their lives in the long freedom struggle.

India is full of such examples, during our freedom struggle there was a galaxy of leaders of great characters and the oppression of British rule created and encouraged people of noble characters like Mahatma Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, JL Nehru, Chandra Shekhar Ajad, Sardar Bhagat Singh and many more. If we compare them with the quality of political leaders India is having today, then Nelson Mandela seems to be absolutely right;

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

Answer: With age and experience, Mandela understood the real meaning of freedom. As a young boy, he thought that he was born free and believed that as long as he obeyed his father and abided by the customs of his tribe, he was free in every possible manner. As he grew older, freedom to raise a family and freedom to earn livelihood started dominating his thoughts. Gradually he realised that he was selfish during his boyhood. He slowly understood that it was not just his freedom that was being curtailed, but the freedom of all blacks. It was the freedom from fear and prejudice. Age and experience widened his perspective of freedom.

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

Answer: Mandela realised in his youth that it was not just his freedom that was being curtailed, but the freedom of all blacks. This changed the fearfulman to a fearless rebel.

He sacrificed the comforts of a settled family life to fight for a greater cause. He joined the African National Congress and this changed him from a frightened young man into a bold one who fought against racial prejudice.

We hope that Class 10 English (First Flight) Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Important Questions helped you. If you have any queries about Class 10 English (First Flight) Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Important Questions or about any other notes of Class 10 English, so you can comment below. We will reach you as soon as possible…

Share Now on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *