Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


Date of Birth:    18 July 1918
Father’s Name:  Henry Mandela
Mother’s Name: Nosekeni
Wife’s Name:  Garca Machel
Children’s Name:  Thembi, Mkgatho, two daughters called Makaziwe,
Zeni and Zindzi.
Occupation:      Former President of South Africa (1991 – 1997)
Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1993.

He is a famous President, activist, and guerrilla leader who fought the oppressions of apartheid in his home land South Africa.  It was his defiance and fight against the British that made him a famous leader, and eventually upon his release from prison, he contested in the election and became President of South Africa.

His life:
He was born in Transkei to a trial chief.  When Mendela was 7 years old, he was sent to mission school and at the age of 16, he was sent to Clarkbury Boarding Institute where he spent two years learning western culture. In 1934, at the age of 19, Mandela attended Weslyean College and completed his matriculation.  After that, he completed his BA from Fort Hare University.  He was intelligent and was exceptionally good in his studies.  He became interested in Law and pursued it at the University of South Africa.  It was at this time of his life as a law student he became involved in various movements 
against the ruling British and was becoming popular among the young people.  At that time, South Africa’s black community, which was a majority, was totally suppressed and was denied political, social, and economic rights that were rightfully theirs.  Fuelled by this suppression, Mandela, joined the African National Congress and later founded the “Youth League”.  As months and years passed, Mandela become very popular and strong after his election victory.  In 1952 he
embarked vigorously on campaign which was popularly known as anti-apartheid.  He fought for the rights of his fellow brothers and sisters and helped those who couldn’t have a voice for themselves.  As the apartheid movement reached its peak with the killing of many innocent fellow South Africans, Mandela resorted to guerilla warfare targeting several government and military installations. The British feared that Mandela and his movement might overthrow their regime and so they arrested him along with several of the supporters of anti-apartheid movement on charges of treason and banned his movement and the political party he created.  Finally, he was arrested in 1962 and was jailed for five years.  While in the prison Mandela continued his efforts to fight for freedom and equality.  Several times, the White Minority Govt of South Africa made an effort to release him on condition that he renounces the armed struggle, but Mandela refused to
leave the Prison.  From 1962 to 1990, he remained in the prison. People all over the world focused their attention on Mandela  and exerted pressure on the govt of South Africa,  and finally after sustained efforts by the world leaders, People all over the world, and African National Congress, the then President of South Africa F.W. De Clarke ordered Mandela to be released on the 11th February 1990Clarke was instrumental in bringing about changes in the social, economic, and political rights for the majority of Black South Africans.  In 1991, as still the president of African National Congress, Mandela stood in the election became the President of South Africa.

In 1999, he retired from active politics and till 2004, he spent his life working for various social causes.  Now he is almost 91 years old and spends time with his family most of the time.  His struggle for freedom and equal rights for his fellow brothers and sisters will never be forgotten for many centuries to come.


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