The true test of any great nation is not what it achieves, but how it endures. Africa and India are great nations and the endurance of their people over many centuries is a testament to their capacity to survive with dignity within an all-too-often cruel and intolerant world.
For many centuries, the people of Africa experienced colonisation, enslavement, economic exploitation, apartheid, disenfranchisement, resettlement and segregation. Throughout these hardships they kept their faith in their beliefs, culture, traditions, religions and dreams.
The exodus of Africans to the four corners of the Earth has enriched the quality of their host countries. South Africa, along with the wonderful land of Jamaica, cradle of the Caribbean, remains today one of the most beautiful countries in the world where tourists continue to flock to.
Many authors have written about the life of Nelson Mandela, but I wanted to write about his dream; the dream, which sustained him through almost three decades of imprisonment; a dream held by other great tribal chiefs in the Africa of old.
I envisaged this dream of being passed on like an athlete’s baton in a relay team; from one chief to the next, until it eventually ended up in the hands of Nelson Mandela, who then gave it to the world.
As I look at Africa today, I know that this dream lives on in the hearts of its proud people. We were born possessing the potential to do good or bad. We have the power to make our dreams come true, as long as we keep faith with that great Jamaican concept of ‘one Love – one heart.’
For many centuries, India remained under the rule of the British and adapted itself in conjunction with the British traditions. Since its independence in 1947, India has gradually progressed into a society today, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has managed to accommodate many different religions and people types within its borders and is truly the most tolerant-to-stranger continents there undoubtedly is in the world.
Live in hope and hope shall live in you. Give your love freely and unconditionally and you will receive love in return. When you acknowledge your areas of ignorance, wisdom is your reward. Admit your wrongs at the earliest opportunity, try to correct them and you will feel right with the world. Confront your darkest fears, and courage will be your greatest strength. Strive for tolerance, understanding and acceptance of all strangers and new neighbours, and your heart will beat in the four corners of the earth. Learn to walk in the shoes of another and you will never walk alone.
It pleases me enormously that after writing this story and getting it published in the year 2000, that I received a telephone communication from Nelson Mandela who had been given a copy of the book by ‘number 10.’ Mr Mandela had read my African story and described it as being,‘ Wonderful.’
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|Age Range:||5 - 11 Years|
About the Author
William Forde was born in Ireland and currently lives in Haworth, West Yorkshire with his wife Sheila. He is the father of five children and the author of over 60 published books and two musical plays. Approximately 20 of his books are suitable for the 7-11 year old readers while the remainder are suitable for young persons and adults. Since 2010, all of his new stories have been written for adults under his 'Tales from Portlaw' series of short stories. His website is www.fordefables.co.uk on which all his miscellaneous writings may be freely read. There are also a number of children's audio stories which can be freely heard. He is unique in the field of contemporary children's authors through the challenging emotional issues and story themes he addresses, preferring to focus upon those emotions that children and adults find most difficult to appropriately express. One of West Yorkshire's most popular children's authors, Between 1990 and 2002 his books were publicly read in over 2,000 Yorkshire school assemblies by over 800 famous names and celebrities from the realms of Royalty, Film, Stage, Screen, Politics, Church, Sport, etc. The late Princess Diana used to read his earlier books to her then young children, William and Harry and Nelson Mandela once telephoned him to praise an African story book he had written. Others who have supported his works have included three Princesses, three Prime Ministers, two Presidents and numerous Bishops of the realm. A former Chief Inspector of Schools for OFSTED described his writing to the press as 'High quality literature.' He has also written books which are suitable for adults along with a number of crossover books that are suitable for teenagers and adults. Forever at the forefront of change, at the age of 18 years, William became the youngest Youth Leader and Trade Union Shop Steward in Great Britain. In 1971, He founded Anger Management in Great Britain and freely gave his courses to the world. Within the next two years, Anger Management courses had mushroomed across the English-speaking world. During the mid-70's, he introduced Relaxation Training into H.M. Prisons and between 1970 and 1995, he worked in West Yorkshire as a Probation Officer specialising in Relaxation Training, Anger Management, Stress Management and Assertive Training Group Work. He retired early on the grounds of ill health in 1995 to further his writing career, which witnessed him working with the Minister of Youth and Culture in Jamaica to establish a trans-Atlantic pen-pal project between 32 primary schools in Falmouth, Jamaica and 32 primary schools in Yorkshire. William was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours List of 1995 for his services to West Yorkshire. He has never sought to materially profit from the publication of his books and writings and has allowed all profit from their sales (approx £200,000) to be given to charity. Since 2013, he was diagnosed with CLL; a terminal condition for which he is currently receiving treatment. In 2014, William had his very first 'strictly for adult' reader's novel puiblished called‘Rebecca’s Revenge'. This book was first written over twenty years ago and spans the period between the 1950s and the New Millennium. He initially refrained from having it published because of his ‘children’s author credentials and charity work’. He felt that it would have conflicted too adversely with the image which had taken a decade or more to establish with his audience and young person readership. Now, however as he approaches the final years of his life and cares less about his public image, besides no longer writing for children (only short stories for adults since 2010), he feels the time to be appropriate to publish this ‘strictly for adults only’ novel alongside the remainder of his work. In December 2016 he was diagnosed with skin cancer on his face and two weeks later he was diagnosed with High-grade Lymphoma (Richter’s Transformation from CLL). He was successfully treated during the first half of 2017 and is presently enjoying good health albeit with no effective immune system.