Image Source : history.com
Before we get to know about Nelson Mandela, here are 5 do you know about him.
- Mandela’s real name was Rolihlahla, which means troublemaker in his Xhosa tribe.
- He acted in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic Malcolm X. In the movie Nelson acted as a teacher at the end of the movie and recited a famous speech by Malcolm. Mandela had refused to speak ‘by any means necessary’ in the same speech, for which the director put a scene of Malcolm X himself saying these words.
- Nelson Mandela married Graca Machel, whose first marriage was with Mozambique President Samora Machel. After his death, Graca married Nelson and thus become first lady of two nations.
- Mandela loved boxing but not for its violence, but for its techniques used for protecting oneself.
- He opened South Africa’s first black law firm in Johannesburg in 1952.
Nelson Mandela dedicated his life for the freedom of South Africa and for social change. Mandela was born in 1918 in South Africa which was at that time under British. Mandela was born in the racial segregated system of South Africa called apartheid which meant ‘apartness’.
He joined the national movement for freedom at an early age. In 1950’s he became a leader in the resistance movement. Resistance movement was a movement that fought for advocating equal rights to people of all color under the law.
Nation of equal opportunities
“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination.”
Nelson championed equal rights for all people under democratic law. He wanted all people to have equal opportunities.
“It is an ideal for which I have prepared to die.”
Mandela in Prison
Mandela was put in prison in 1962 by the apartheid government. They had charged him with treason because they were threatened by the leadership that Mandela projected for it challenged their authority in the country.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison as prisoner 466/64. In jail, Mandela had a reputation and even after being isolated, that reputation grew over time and so did Mandela’s determination to end apartheid.
Mandela refused to accept release until he was allowed to fight for freedom of his countrymen.
At last in 1990, the South African government, due to international pressure released Mandela from prison nearly after three decades.
After release Mandela pledged to continue his fight to end apartheid even thought his health had deteriorated significantly after working in prison.
He led negotiations between white and black South Africans. Only after four years of struggle, South Africa held its first multi-racial elections in April 1994.
Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa in 1994.
‘Time for the healing of the wounds has come.’
‘We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people.’