To fellow Nobel laureate, Nadine Gordimer, on "our struggle for freedom, and how the oppressed races united during our darkest days"
Highly desirable TLS as president signed “N. Mandela,” one page, 8.25 x 11.75, Office of the President letterhead, November 29, 1997. Letter to South African writer Nadine Gordimer, in full: "My book Madiba The Rainbow Man is the story of all brave South Africans and our struggle for freedom, and how the oppressed races united during our darkest days. The author, Mr. Lionel Maxim, and his family were a part of the group areas removals during Apartheid. Like Lionel, many young people had sacrificed their youth, their studies and life with their families all for the sake of freedom, many young people went to prison and served long sentences, some left to join the liberation struggle in exile, often at a very young age. Many were unable to complete their schooling. Now that we have won the freedom they helped us win, we are duty bound to ensure that these same young men and women have the opportunity to study and to obtain the skills our country sorely needs, and to receive the support that enables them to rebuild their lives.
The opportunities we provide must be of a kind that builds self-reliance and rewards hard work, anything that encourages a culture of entitlement would undermine our hard won freedoms. We shall never forget the sacrifice made by the youth in our communities, many of whom lost their lives, young people are our most precious treasure as we build a South Africa that will provide for all our people.
All South African children have the right to proper and equal education. Our greatest challenge is to create the opportunities that build this spirit and let it flourish. We must create a safe environment for learning and teaching, without any fear of criminal activity looming around children. The children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, a well educated youth will enable them to successfully lead us forward.
Some of the proceeds of the book will be used by our Children's Fund to help many children across our land; children who have been deprived of love or education or who have special needs." In fine condition, with three horizontal folds.
The recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, Gordimer (1923-2014) was a political activist whose writing focused on moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. She was close friends with Bram Fischer and George Bizos, Mandela's defence attorneys during his 1962 trial, and it was Gordimer who helped Mandela edit his famous speech 'I Am Prepared to Die.' When Mandela was released from prison in 1990, Gordimer was one of the first people he requested to see.