Monday, January 11, 2010


Nelson Mandela in his former prison cell on Robben Island

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

By William Ernest Henley

This is the poem that gave Nelson Mandela emotional support and strength during his imprisonment on Robben Island. This is also the title of Clint Eastwood's recent feature film.Morgan Freeman plays the part of the president of the Rainbow Nation, Nelson Mandela. In his first term as the South African President, Mandela initiated a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn country. He enlisted the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup which they did. Matt Damon gives a good performance as the rugby team captain Francois Pienaar.