Nelson Mandela

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by taychivs
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
Politicians and Presidents

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Who was Nelson Madela?Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, was born July 18, 1918 in Umtata. He was the youngest son of a counselor to the chief of the Thembu people. He has been a defender of human rights for many years and was a leader of protests against apartheid - the South African government's policy of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. Throughout his life, Mandela has done some remarkable things. In 1944, Nelson Mandela helped found the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, advocating boycott, strike and civil disobedience against white rule. Seven years later, he was nominated as the President of the ANC. Mandela was arrested on a charge of treason but was found not guilty in 1961. Mandela was arrested again in 1962. He was convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the white minority government in 1964. He was sentenced to a life in prison. While Mandela was imprisoned, he became a symbol of the fight for racial justice. On February 11, 1990, Mandela was released from prison. He never wavered in his devotion to democracy and equality. Despite terrible injustice, he never answered racism with racism. He led a life of inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived and to all who opposed oppression and deprivation.

Significant ActionsHe was a remarkable leader; he stood for what he believed. When he was released from prison, instead of revenge, he sat down peacefully with the people who imprisoned him and worked towards a resolution. He never encouraged anger or hatred. His actions earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, along with then-President of South Africa - F.W. de Klerk. The two men were honoured for their work to allow the non-white citizens of South Africa to fully participate in the government. During his 27 years of imprisonment (1964 - 1990), he became a symbol for the struggle against racial justice. He helped the movement to repealed a majority of the laws that had formed the legal grounds of apartheid. It was not until April 1994 when all races could take place in the South African election. The ANC had the majority of the seats during the Assembly.

CharacteristicsHe was strong, he was imprisoned for many years because he believed in his cause. He had a poem - Invictus by William E. Henley - that he had said helped him through his darkest days while he was in prison. It had given him strength and hope. Mandela had impressive tolerance. Once released from prison, he went and sat down with the people who had him put in there to figure out a peaceful solution. He taught people that the past was the past and that they need to let it go. The determination he had with him was remarkable. He has been a human rights leader for many years and has fought for what he believes to be fair no matter the circumstances.

SkillsMandela possesed a lot of legal knowledge and skill. He studied at the South African Native College (otherwise now known as the University of Fort Hare) and the University of South Africa where he received his bachelor's degree in 1943. He then took classes at the University of Witwatersrand. 1952 was the year when Mandela became a lawyer as well as opened the first black law partnership in South Africa with Oliver Tambo.

My ChoiceI chose Nelson Mandela because he is one of the most inspiring and courageous people I know. He was uncompromising in his fight for a democratic and fair society, even if it meant personal suffering and hardship. Yet, he did not let bitterness and anger take root within him. He proved to the people of South Africa and the rest of the world that hatred and revenge served no purpose. He helped his country move towards peace and equality. He was an inspiration to generations past and he remains an inspiration to the generation today. The strength he carried through his darkest days is something few people can find within themselves. The fact that he managed to do such remarkable things with all his struggles is truly inspiring.

InvictusBY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEYOut of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade,And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.


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