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Nelson Mandela once stole uncle's oxen to escape marriage, recounts cousin's widow

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 12:23pm IST Updated: Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 12:24pm IST | Place: London | Agency: ANI

  • AFP

The widow of one of Nelson Mandela’s cousins recalled that how once the anti-Apartheid hero stole couple of oxen and sold them so that he could run away from home and start a better life in Johannesburg.

Nozolile Mtirara, 91, became Mandela’s close confidante when she married Justice Mtirara in 1945 and speaks of him as a simple man.

According to the BBC, Nozolile recalled that Mandela came to live with his cousin in 1927, after leaving his childhood home of Qunu, to stay with his uncle, Paramount Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

After Mandela was expelled from Fort Hare University at the age of 22, Chief Dalindyebo insisted that both men take wives.

She said that Mandela and her late husband stole a couple of Chief Dalindyebo's oxen and sold them so they could have money to go to Johannesburg and begin a new life instead of marrying.

Mandela was sent word to Johannesburg from his uncle to return home, while Mtirara returned, Mandela stayed longer and got involved in politics.

The report added that Mandela was next to return to the home he loved as an elderly man, a man who had captured the hearts of a nation as South Africa's first black president.

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