December 1961

My people… my sons and my daughters

As I pace the floor of my bedroom in the Grand Hotel, Oslo, putting the final touches on my speech of acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize my thoughts go out to the people back home.

I have thought of you, my loyal friends, constantly. My thoughts were with you as my plane winged over the great Continent of Africa and when we touched down in London – where I was overwhelmed by the size and spontaneity of the welcome.

I want you all to know that I am accepting this Nobel Peace Prize not for myself alone but on behalf of all the people of South Africa who have played their part in striving for peace and co-operation between the races. I made this point in my speech of acceptance.

My wife is here with me and she, too, sends a message of gratitude and affection to all our loyal friends. How I wish you could be with me on this exciting adventure – these ten days of Freedom.

My prayer is that the day will soon come when all my people will share in the freedom and the good things of life which are all around me as I write.

This message was given to a representative of DRUM, Johannesburg and was published in DRUM magazine in January 1962