NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 2 Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom PDF download are available here. NCERT questions and answers of Class 10 English Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom are prepared by expert teachers. All these solutions are updated as per the latest CBSE syllabus and contain questions related to the story, which will help you to score good marks in the exams.

Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 2 NCERT Questions and Answers

Oral Comprehension Check (Page 18,19)

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

Answer: The ceremonies took place in the campus of the Union Building of Pretoria, which was attended by dignitaries and leaders of many nations.
The Parliament House, the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi, as well as the Madras High Court in Chennai, are few examples of public buildings in India that are made of 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 privileged to be the host to the nations of the world because not too long ago, the South Africans were considered outlaws. He thus thanked all the international leaders for having come to witness his venture as President, since this event 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 the 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.

Oral Comprehension Check (Page 21)

Question 1. 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 the struggle and sacrifices put in by many heroes of South Africa. This struggle not only ensured the freedom of a nation struggling with apartheid but 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 2. 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 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?

Answer: Mandela described the systems of government in his country:

(i) in the first decade of the twentieth century, the white-skinned people of South Africa patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the dark-skinned people of their own land, thus creating the basis of one of the harshest and most inhuman societies the world had ever known.

(ii) in the final decade of the twentieth century, the previous systems had been overturned forever and replaced by one that recognised the rights and freedom of all people, regardless of the colour of their skins

Question 4. 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 5. Which does Mandela think is natural, to love or to hate?

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

Oral Comprehension Check (Page 24)

Question 1. 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 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”?

Answer: Like any other boy, freedom for Mandela meant making merry and enjoying a blissful life. He was free to run near his fields in his mother’s hut or swim in the clear stream that ran through his village. His sense of freedom was limited to his own enjoyment. As long as he obeyed his father and abided by the customs of his tribe, his freedom wasn’t restricted by the laws of man or God. Gradually, he learnt that his boyhood freedom was an illusion. Once a person becomes an adult, then antics of childhood look transitory because most of the childish activity is wasteful from an adult’s perspective.

As an adult, he wanted freedom only for himself, the transitory freedom of being able to stay out at night, read what he pleased and go where he chose. Later, as a young man in Johannesburg, he yearned for the basic and honourable freedom of achieving his potential, earning his keep and of marrying and having a family. Earning honest livelihood for the daily bread gets an honourable existence in the family and in the society

Question 3. 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.

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: Mandela wants to pay his tribute to all the people who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. He feels that he is the sum of all those African patriots who had gone before him because those heroes of yesterday-years had paved the path of cooperation and unity for him. Therefore, he got the support of his people to be able to
come to power to bring equality for his own people.

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. The hunger for his own freedom became the hunger for the freedom of his people. This desire of a non-racial society transformed him into a virtuous and self-sacrificing man. Thus, he joined the African National Congress and this changed him from a frightened young man into a bold man.

Thinking about Language

Question I. 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 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




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

Martin Luther King’s contribution (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the assistance (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 citizens by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean subjugation (subjugate) and humiliation (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings, imprisonment (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent resistance (resist) to racial injustice.


1. Looking at Contrasts

Nelson Mandela’s writing is marked by balance: many sentences have two parts in balance.

Use the following phrases to complete the sentences given below.
(i) they can be taught to love.
(ii) I was born free.
(iii) but the triumph over it.
(iv) but he who conquers that fear.
(v) to create such heights of character.

1. It requires such depths of oppression

Answer: It requires such depths of oppression to create such heights of character.

2. Courage was not the absence of fear

Answer: Courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.

3. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid

Answer: The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.

4. If people can learn to hate

Answer: If people can learn to hate they can be taught to love.

5. I was not born with a hunger to be free.

Answer: I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free

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