There is great unanimity among African people from all walks of life on the topic of imprisonment. Hence, carceral is considered an alien custom introduced on the African soil by Europeans, searching for human cargo to be transported to the Americas as massive forts were constructed for enslaving African peoples which evolved into prisons, especially after the colonial scramble for Africa (1880s) (Bernault). Today, while many old notorious structures, such as Robben Island, have been shut down, carceral punishment, ironically, has become an "African" way of life--at least for those who are socially displaced or who are political opponents of anti-democratic regimes. In reviewing the futility of imprisonment, it is helpful to ascertain the meaning of political principles, such as freedom, equality and justice, from the vantage point of some of society's most marginalized people--prisoners. Politicized prisoners often take a very dim view of the capitalist ideology of freedom and theories of desert--i.e., who ought to be deprived of their freedom of movement, of expression, etc., and they are suspicious towards using the (capitalist) justice system to press for appeals of wrongful conviction. Thus, formerly imprisoned voices on the continent, such as South Africa's president Nelson Mandela, Egyptian activist Nawal El Saadawi and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, use a prophetic language of liberation in thought and practice, often at the expense of their own well-being. For example, when Mandela's autobiographical notes were discovered in the Robben Island prison yard, after he had lost the privilege of reading materials.