From a letter to Joy Mosieloa , dated 17 February 1986
When a man commits himself to the type of life he has lived for 45 years, even though he may well have been aware from the outset of all the attendant hazards, the actual course of events and the precise manner in which they would influence his life could never have been clearly foreseeable in every respect. If I had been able to foresee all that has since happened, I would certainly have made the same decision, so I believe at least. But that decision would certainly have been far more daunting, and some of the tragedies which subsequently followed would have melted whatever traces of steel were inside me.

From a Conversation with Richard Stengel
I was being groomed for the position of chieftaincy . . . but then ran away, you know, from a forced marriage . . . That changed my whole career. But if I had stayed at home I would have been a respected chief today, you know? And I would have had a big stomach, you know, and a lot of cattle and sheep.

From a Conversation with Richard Stengel
Most men, you know, are influenced by their background. I grew up in a country village until I was twenty-three, when I then left the village for Johannesburg. I was of course . . . going to school for the greater part of the year, come back during the June and December holidays – June was just a month and December about two months. And so all throughout the year I was at school . . . And then in [19]41 when I was twenty-three, I came to Johannesburg and learned . . . to absorb Western standards of living and so on. But . . . my opinions were already formed from the countryside and . . . you'll therefore appreciate my enormous respect for my own culture – indigenous culture . . . Of course Western culture is something we cannot live without, so I have got these two strands of cultural influence. But I think it would be unfair to say this is peculiar to me because many of our men are influenced by that . . . I am now more comfortable in English because of the many years I spent here and I've spent in jail and I lost contact, you know, with Xhosa literature. One of the things which I am looking forward to when I retire is to be able to read literature as I want, [including] African literature. I can read both Xhosa and Sotho literature and I like doing that, but the political activities have interfered . . . I just can't read anything now and it's one of the things I regret very much.