Nelson Mandele was the first Black President in South Africa; he was born on the 18th of July 1918. His birth name is Rolihlahla Mandela and the name “Nelson” was given to him by his primary school teacher; Miss Mdingane.
Mandela lost his father at the age of twelve and lost his mum in 1968; while in prison.
Mandela’s first wife was a nurse by the name Evelyn Mase, they got married in 1944 and they both had four children between them. They eventually had a divorce in 1958.
In 1958, Mandela Married his second wife, a social worker by the name; Winnie Madikizela. They both had two daughters between them and got divorced in 1996.
In 1998, Mandela married his third wife (Graca Machel) on his 80th birthday.
Mandela’s political career started in 1942, but he became officially active in 1944 when he contributed to the formation of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).
On the 11th of January 1962, Mandela left South Africa using his adopted name David Motsamayi on an Ethiopian passport. He travelled to various African countries and eventually travelled to England to gain support for armed struggle.
He further received some military training in Morocco and Ethiopia before returning back to South Africa in July 1962. On his return, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment, under accusations that he left the country without a permit and inciting workers to strike.
On the 9th of October 1963 Mandela and other activists were on trial for sabotage, hardly a year later Mandela was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. When Mandela got out of prison in 1990, he immediately started working on the end of white minority rule and in 1991, he was elected the President of ANC.
While Mandela was in prison, he had over two conditional release offers; which he rejected. Between 1988 and 1990, Mandela was undergoing treatments outside prison for tuberculosis. On the 11th of February 1990, Mandela became a free man.
Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected President on the 10th of May 1994. Mandela only served for one term and stepped down in 1999.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The foundation was founded by Mandela himself; with the aim of contributing to a society that remembers its pasts.
The foundation sees to pursue social justice in order to promote peace, human rights and democracy.
In conclusion Nelson Mandela was a true hero and a unique political influencer like no other. He never fought racism with racism; he was a man true to his words and just like he said in his speech on the 20th of April 1964:
“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”
He died on the 5th of December 2013 at his home in Johannesburg; after seeing his ideal come to pass.