This piece by Oliver Tambo was published as the introduction to the book No Easy Walk to Freedom by Ruth First in 1965
As a man, Nelson is passionate, emotional, sensitive, quickly stung to bitterness and retaliation by insult and patronage. He has a natural air of authority. He cannot help magnetising a crowd: he is commanding with a tall, handsome bearing; trusts and is trusted by the youth, for their impatience reflects his own; appealing to the women. He is dedicated and fearless. He is the born mass leader.
His inspiration lives on in the heart of every African patriot. He is the symbol of the self-sacrificing leadership our struggle has thrown up and our people need. He is unrelenting, yet capable of flexibility and delicate judgment. He is an outstanding individual, but he knows that he derives his strength from the great masses of people, who make up the freedom struggle in our country.