Transcript for Letters of a Leader: Nelson Mandela's Own Words From Prison
We want to give you some insight into the letters of father wrote to his children all those years from behind bars Nelson Mandela. Close allowed to send one letter every six months and ABC anchor David -- was given rare access in Johannesburg. To his notebook his own record. What he wrote David -- this is really incredible and as you know he was allowed so few letters he would practice writing them and that no book which is why there's no record of every letter he wrote. Promising his children that he would one day finishes here is -- them. Which is exactly what he did. The or the -- -- it until now have been tucked away. Notebooks Nelson Mandela safe from his 27 years in prison the letters he wrote to his loved ones you walk out with a minute left doesn't say he took it with him. Rendell would -- many of his letters from his cell on Robben Island one with books and the photograph of winning. He would -- a first draft of every letter carefully choosing his words. Because he had to. In a New -- he was only allowed to -- when he activity sixth man. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- He wrote to his children about his dream of one -- seeing them again. I cannot moment -- -- -- -- I told you think the writing checks that fit actually staying tuned for the best of my long. It may be long before I come back he may be sued nobody knows they need to repeat not even the -- -- hit -- just -- Kia. Over the years Mandela would ask for permission from the guards to write more letters -- he was allowed once after learning -- Mandela was having heart trouble. He would make his request in their language Afrikaans hoping that would help get them to say yes. She's named Nelson Mandela. And then he's better than none -- foot -- -- six took 64. The 466. Prisoner that -- 1964. He would even ask a cherished friend why have you not written. Do you look at your friends -- -- me. Glad I did not faithful. And finally they shall listen don't -- 71 birthday a visit from when he and his children and his grandchildren. But the real gift would come a year later his release. Says mr. Mandela was the Nelson Mandela. A free man. And we were called that promise he -- to his children more than two decades earlier. I am certain that one day I will look back I will be back at home to live -- happiness until the end of my days. One day back at home until the end of my days to cherish letters of a father a husband a leader and running at the bottom of every letter Diane 466. Prisoner 466 of the year 1960. Thank you again Davis.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.