The Unforgettable journey of Nelson Mandela

The social activist and the global advocate, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a great man,. He spent his whole life fighting for the rights of the people from the apartheid system, white dominance, and racial discrimination. He was the leader of the non-violence groups which landed him in jail for almost three decades and it started the racism revolution locally as well as internationally. Mandela was released and became the president forming the multiethnic government. He was the first black person to become the president of South Africa which led to the abolishing of the apartheid system. He became an icon of the justice for the people.  he won the Nobel prize for his leadership for his anti-apartheid activism in 1993.

Childhood and Education

he was born on 18th July 1928, into a royal family of the Thembu tribe in the south African village of Mvezo where his father was a chief and had four wives. After the death of this father,  Mandela was known by his tribe name Rolihlahla and adopted by Jongintaba Dalindyebo,  another leader in Thembu tribe.

Mandela was the first among his sibling to get the education. He started his schooling at the local missionary school where he got the name Nelson as a part of a common practice of giving English names to African children. After completing the schooling he went to the University of Fart Hare for higher studies, the only university for the black people in South Africa. He along with other students participated in the boycott of university policies and got expelled for it.

In the fear of arranged marriage, he fled to Johannesburg where he graduated in law from the Witwatersrand University, where he met with all races and faced discrimination from white people. Later he joined the African National Congress (ANC) and founded the ANC Youth league against racial discrimination.

Life in  prison

The peaceful resistance movement was not affecting the apartheid regime which led to launching a campaign of economic sabotage. In result, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempting to overthrow the government or destroy it.

During the 12 months of life imprisonment, his mother, as well as the eldest son, died and he was not allowed to attend the funerals.

Rage aroused among the youth ANC and they started a campaign against apartheid during which hundreds of people were killed. This led to the international upsurge in racial discrimination. In 1980, a few hundreds of people gathered in the Wembley stadium in London to sing a song “Free Nelson Mandela”, which increased the pressure on the international leaders and forced them to release Nelson Mandela.

In 1990,  the president FW de Klerk released  Mandela and agreed to form a new multiracial government in South Africa.  Mandela was elected as a president from 1994 to 1999.


Nelson Mandela, after stepping down from the presidency, became the ideal for the black people. During his presidency, he had established truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights and political violations, several social and economic programs also designed to improve the standard living of Black people.

 He also established many organizations like Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Elders. A the time, when epidemic diseases were spreading, he did campaigning to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and provide treatment for it so that South Africa could be able to host 2010 football world cup.

Due to his contributions to democracy, freedom, peace and human rights, the US celebrates July 18 as the “Nelson Mandela International Day”.

Nelson Mandela died on 5th Dec 2013 at the age of 95 due to recurring lung cancer.

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