Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918 in South Africa. He received the first name of Nelson when he was in primary school as was the practice of teachers to provide students with “Christian” names at the time.
African National Congress
Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944 and after 1948, worked against the National Party’s apartheid policies. That was to be his life’s goal. In 1961, Nelson Mandela proposed the use of violence in order to campaign against apartheid and after organizing a three-day national workers’ strike, he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison in 1962.
While serving this sentence, he was brought to trial with other members of the African National Congress on the basis of trying to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison. Nelson Mandela continued in his beliefs of anti-apartheid becoming an inspiration to those working against the cause on the outside. His vigilance earned him a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London while in prison.
Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa
In 1990, Mandela was released from prison and dove back into the work he’d set forth in his life. In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end apartheid. Then in 1994 he became the first black South African President. Using his powers for always for the good of the people, Mandela united a country through sport. He turned eyes toward the rugby team and in 1995 the Rugby World Cup turned the world’s eyes to South Africa. Under his Presidency, Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution into law allowing for there to be a majority rule voting system within the country to further his anti-apartheid work giving minorities a voice.
Throughout the rest of his life, Nelson Mandela continued his work to attain peace and equality for people, locally and internationally, and joined the fight against AIDS, a disease devastating in Africa as a whole. In 2013, Nelson Mandela passed away at his home in Johannesburg leaving behind a legacy of a man who had decided at a very young age how people should be treated and fought to make it so.
Nelson Mandela was an overcomer. He fought for what he believed was right and through no opposing action did he waiver from those beliefs. This man gave strength and hope to people of a country trying to hold them down. That did not always make Mandela a favorite among those of South Africa, but it did make him an inspiration.
-I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela
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