BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31
BEST IELTS General Reading Test 31



Read the text below and answer Question 29-35.

Nelson Mandela

A. Nelson Mandela always carried himself as one who was born to lead. His former cellmate, Ahmed Kathrada described his as being born into a royal house and there was that sense about him of someone who understands the meaning of leadership. The Mandela who les the African National Congress into government displayed a strong sense of his own dignity and confidence that nothing in early thirty decades of imprisonment was capable of destroying.

B. Mandela often described himself as simply part of the ANC’s leadership, though he was never any doubt that he was the most powerful political figure of his generation in south Africa. To the wider world he represented many things; not least in icon of freedom but also the most vivid example in modern times of forgiveness and reconciliation. The former president of South Africa, FW DE Klerk, spoke about Mandela’s astonishing lack of bitterness.

C. His fundamental creed was best expressed in his address to the sabotage trail in 1964. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination, “he said. “I have cherished then ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together I harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal foe which I am prepared to die.”

D. Born in 1981, Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela was raised in the village of Qunu in the Transkei in the Eastern Cape. He was one of 13 children from a family with close links to the royal house of the Thembu people. He often recalled his boyhood in the green hills of the Transkei with fondness. Mandela was only nine years old when his father died of tuberculosis. Always closer emotionally to his mother, he described his father as a stern disciplinarian, but he credited him with instilling the instinct that would help carry him to greatness.

E. The late 1950s and early 1960s were a period of growing tumult in South Africa, as African nationality allied with the south African communist party challenged the apartheid state. When protest was met with brute force, the ANC launched an armed struggle with Mandela at its head. He was arrested and charged with treason in 1956. After a trail lasting five years, Mandela was acquitted. But by then the ANC had been banned and his comrade Oliver Tambo had gone into exile.

F. Mandela went underground and embarked on a secret mission to seek help from other African nations emerging from colonial rule. But soon after his return he was arrested and sentenced to five year in jail. Further charges of sabotage led to a life sentence that would see him spend 27 years behind bars. He revisited his cell several times after his release. During his imprisonment, he worked in the lime quarry on Robben Island, the prison in Cape Town harbor, where the glaring sun on the white stone caused permanent damage to his eyes; he contracted in Pollsmoor prison outside Cape town, and he held the first talks with government ministers while he was incarcerated at the Victor Verster prison farm. In conversation, he would often say prison had given him time to think.

G. Prison had taken away the prime of his life. It had taken away his family life. Relations with some of his children were strained. He marriage to his wife Winnie Mandela would end in divorce. But prison had never robbed his humanity. Fighting between ANC supporters and the predominantly Zulu Inkatha movement had claimed thousands of lives, mainly in the township around Johannesburg and the hills of Natal. Huge crowds greeted Mandela’s release. In those circumstances another leader might have been tempted to blame the enemy alone. But when Mandela spoke, he surprised everyone who was listening by saying: “There are numbers of the ANC who are killing our people… We must face the truth. Our people are just as involved as other organizations that are committing violence…We cannot climb to freedom on the corpses of innocent people.”

H. He knew the crowd would not like his message but also knew they would listen. As an interviewee, he deflected personal questions with references to the suffering of all South Africans. One learned to read the expressions in his face for a truer guide to what Mandela felt. On the night of 2nd May 1994, a function room was packed with officials, activists, diplomats and journalists, struggling to hear each other as the music pulsed and the cheers rang out. The ANC had won a comprehensive victory. On the stage, surrounded by his closest advisors, Nelson Mandela danced and waved to the crowd. He smiled the open, generous smile of a man who had lived to see his dream.

Question 29-35

The text has eight paragraphs, A-H. Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 29-35 on your answer sheet.

29.  References Mandela’s belief that he worked against both white and black subjugation._____________.

30. Explores the toll Mandela’s life parents influenced his life_____________________.

31. Discusses how one of his parents influenced his life___________________________.

32. Mentions how Mandela put South Africa’s suffering above his own_______________.

33. Illustrates Mandela’s character in the words of someone with whom he shared a prison cell___________.

34. Reveals how another South African leader saw Mandela as a symbol of forgiveness______________.

35. Shows how his time in prison ironically gave him the space to envision a different future___________.

Questions 36-40

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer

Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

The life and leadership of Nelson servers as a profound example of how 36__________________and 37________________ can empower not only a person but an entire nation to change. These attributes freed Mandela from any bitterness and scorn to enable him to lead South Africa for a new future after apartheid was vanquished. Mandela credited his 38______________ providing his with the discipline and instincts to become a great leader, while his mother provided strong emotional support.

Mandela’s life was not perfect, as he became estranged from his wife and his children suffered at times. During his time in prison, Mandela, despite the hardship he endured, used the abundance 39______________ he had there to conceptualize a new future for himself and South Africa. Once he was freed, he took a(n) 40 __________________ role in the country and used his wisdom and intelligence to reunite his nation. Despite the adversity he encountered in his life. Mandela was full of courage and hope that many should emulate when deciding on how they should live.


29. C

30. G

31. D

32. H

33. A

34. B

36. forgiveness

37. reconciliation

38. father with

39. of time

40. leadership


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