Saturday, 5 March 2016

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was the political leader, great humanitarian, philanthropist, and President of South Africa. 

Nelson Mandela was a great socialist who protests against the white domination in South Africa. 

He dismantled the legacy of apartheid (an African word means separation or state of being apart). 
He spent 27 years in prison against apartheid. 

In this post, I am going to remember his socialist activities and his continuous efforts for the equality in South Africa.

About family and Early life:

        Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in a village of Mvezo on the banks of River Mbashe, Transkei in South Africa. 

His father Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela was the Chief of Tembu Tribe (which speaks The Xhosa language) and his mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni. 

From his childhood, he was determined to become a lawyer. He would hear the stories of his ancestors’ and get inspired to make his on contribution to the freedom struggle of his people. At the age of 7, his mother joined him in local Methodist School where his teacher gave him the name “Nelson”. Mandela lived in Tembu until he was 9 years old. In his 16th age, his father died after that Mandela joined in Clarkebury Boarding Institute, he completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three.

In 1937, Mandela moved to Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort. He was also interested in boxing and running.

 Mandela completed his BA degree at the Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, who became his lifelong friend. Mandela qualified in law in 1942.

Activities against white domination:
In 1942, Nelson Mandela joined in the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 and founded its more dynamic African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)

His friends, Walter Sisula and Oliver Tambo were with him. Mandela was a strictly disciplined worker.

 His fellow members were got impressed by his consistent effort. In 1947, he was elected as the Secretary of the Youth League

After 1948, he got engaged in resistance against the ruling National Parties Apartheid policies.
At this time, Mandela and his friend Oliver Tambo operated their law firm. They provided free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who were without legal representation.

In 1952, the ANC launched its Campaign for the Defiance (refuse to obey) of Unjust Laws. Mandela was elected National Volunteer-in-Chief

The Defiance Campaign was conceived a mass civil disobedience campaign. 

It initiated with few selected volunteers and was expected to involve more and more ordinary people, culminating in mass defiance.

Mandela traveled the country organizing resistance to discriminatory legislation. Then he was arrested and prohibited from attending gatherings. 

His role was significant in popularizing the Freedom Charter adopted by the Congress of the People in 1955. Mandela went on trial for treason in 1956. 

He was acquitted in 1961. Mandela and his colleagues now decided to resort to armed action in order to effect change.

 The ANC has already been banned in 1960. Mandela thought of setting up a military wing within the ANC and this led to the formation of “Umkhonto we Sizwe”

It was created when the government started killing and hurting people who protested against the apartheid In 1963 Mandela was arrested and imprisoned in Johannesburg Fort for Five years.

In 1963, many fellow leaders of the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested. When Mandela was brought before the court, his statements in trials have been an inspiration to those who have opposed apartheid. 

Mandela’s one of the powerful statements was in Rivonia Trial ended with
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.

 I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in 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 for which I am prepared to die” On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused including Mandela were sentenced (forced) to life imprisonment.

 Mandela was incarcerated at the notorious Robben Island Prison, located on a small island 7Km from the coast near Cape Town having maximum security. Then in December, he was moved to the Victor Verster Prison near Paarl.

In prison, Nelson Mandela refused to compromise his political position for his freedom. He became the most significant black leader in South Africa. (Needless to say, his reputation grew steadily). 

He was released on February 18, 1990. In 1991, Mandela was elected the President of ANC.

In 1993, Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and Fredrik Willem De Klerk the President of the Republic of South Africa. The Prize was awarded ‘for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying foundations for a new democratic South Africa’.

President of South Africa:

Mandela was elected as the President of South Africa in 1994. He was the first South African President who elected in a completely democratic non-racial election

Mandela retired as President in 1999 and he went to serve as an advocate for many social and human rights organizations. He was also fought against AIDS and he has been devoted to democracy and equality.

Personal Life:

 Mandela was called as Madiba after his father died, Madiba is the name of a Thembu Chief who ruled in the 18th century. Mandela married Evelyn Ntoko Mase in October 1944. They had two children. They divorced in 1957. Then he married Winnie Madikizela in 1958. 

They had two daughters. They divorced in 1996. Mandela was married against to Graca Machel at his 80th age in 1998. He had six children, 17 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.


In 1993, Mandela awarded the Nobel Prize.

He had honorary degrees more than 50 from more universities in worldwide. 

Some of them are,

In 1990, Mandela received the Bharat Ratna Award in India.

In 1992, he received the Pakistan’s Nishan-e-Pakistan.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush (President of the United States).

Mandela was awarded as the Order of Canada.

Mandela was the first recipient of the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.

Mandela was also awarded the Order of Merit by Elizabeth 2.

Nelson Mandela Bridge and Nelson Mandela’s Bay Stadium was named his honor.

Finally,  the great philanthropist Nelson Mandela was died on December 5, 2013. Everyone will remind his great hard work for his nation.  

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