Biography of Nelson Mandela and how he wanted to shape Africa

Nelson Mandela, in full Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, by name Madiba, was born on 18th of July, 1918 in a town in South Africa called Mvezo. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993 for their efforts.

Early Life and Work

Nelson Mandela was the son of Chief Henry Mandela of the Madiba clan of the Xhosa-speaking Tembu people. After his father’s death, Nelson Mandela renounced his claim to the chieftainship to become a lawyer. He attended South African Native College (now the University of Fort Hare) and studied law at the University of the Witwatersrand; he later passed the qualification exam to become a lawyer. In 1944 he joined the ANC (African Youth Congress), a black liberation group and became a leader of its Youth Group.

In 1952, Mandela established South Africa’s first Black law practice, specializing in cases resulting from the post -1948 apartheid legislation. Also that year, Mandela played an important role in launching a campaign of defiance against South Africa’s pass laws, which required no-whites to carry documents. Mandela’s antiapartheid activism made him a frequent target of the authorities. Starting in 1952, he was intermittently banned. In December 1956, he was arrested with more than hundred people on charges of treason that were designed to harass antiapartheid activists.

His Wives and Children

Wives

Year of Marriage

Evelyn Ntoko

1944-1957

Winnie Madikizela

1958-1996

Grace Machel

1998-till his death.

Children

Madiba Thembekile

Makgatho

Makaziwe

Maki

Prison Years

Formerly committed to nonviolent protest, Mandela began to believe that armed struggle was the only way to achieve change. In 1961, Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, also known as MK, an armed offshoot of the ANC dedicated to sabotage and use guerilla war tactics to end apartheid.

In 1961, Mandela arranged a three day worker’s strike. He was then arrested for leading the strike the following year and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. Mandela spent 27 years in prison, from November 1962 until February 1990. He was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis and, as a Black political prisoner, received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. However, while incarcerated, Mandela was able to earn a Bachelor of Law degree through a University of London correspondence program.

A 1981 memoir by South African intelligence agent Gordon Winter described a plot by the South African government to arrange for Mandela's escape so as to shoot him during the recapture; the plot was foiled by British intelligence. 

Presidency

Due in no small part to the work of Mandela and President de Klerk, negotiations between Black and white South Africans prevailed: On April 27, 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections. Mandela was inaugurated as the country's first Black president on May 10, 1994, at the age of 77, with de Klerk as his first deputy.

From 1994 until June 1999, President Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to Black majority rule. He used the nation's enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between white and Black people, encouraging Black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. 

Nelson Mandela

In 1995, South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the young republic. That year Mandela was also awarded the Order of Merit.

During his presidency, Mandela also worked to protect South Africa's economy from collapse. Through his Reconstruction and Development Plan, the South African government funded the creation of jobs, housing and basic health care.

In 1996, Mandela signed into law a new constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing both the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.

Retirement and Later Career

By the 1999 general election, Mandela had retired from active politics. He continued to maintain a busy schedule, however, raising money to build schools and clinics in South Africa's rural heartland through his foundation, and serving as a mediator in Burundi's civil war.

Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001. In June 2004, at the age of 85, he announced his formal retirement from public life and returned to his native village of Qunu.

His Death

Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95 in his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. After suffering a lung infection in January 2011, Mandela was briefly hospitalized in Johannesburg to undergo surgery for a stomach ailment in early 2012.

He was released after a few days, later returning to Qunu. Mandela would be hospitalized many times over the next several years — in December 2012, March 2013 and June 2013 — for further testing and medical treatment relating to his recurrent lung infection.

Following his June 2013 hospital visit, Machel, canceled a scheduled appearance in London to remain at her husband's side, and his daughter, Zenani Dlamini, flew back from Argentina to South Africa to be with her father.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president, issued a statement in response to public concern over Mandela's March 2013 health scare, asking for support in the form of prayer: "We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts," Zuma said.

On the day of Mandela’s death, Zuma released a statement speaking to Mandela's legacy: "Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society ... in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another," he said.

His Quotes

  • Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
  • A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
  • Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
  • 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.
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
  • I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.
  • It always seems impossible until it’s done.

 

His aims and goals.

  • Total democracy.
  • Africa’s Union.
  • Harmony and Peace in Africa.

 

NELSON MANDELA: I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.


Published on 19th, Dec 2020




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