Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is best known for leading anti-apartheid revolution that translated to him becoming the first black president of South Africa.
Mandela was born on 18th July 1918 in Mvezo, Eastern Cape to the Thembu royal family and grew up during the colonial times when racial segregation favored the whites. He’s university education was interrupted from time to time forcing him to begin studies in one university and complete in another due to his participation in student protest among other discomforts. Being a lover of democracy, he desired to see equal treatment for both the white minority and black majority.
He joined politics at the age of 25 years through the African National Congress party and continually protested against the National Party’s white-only government. As he rose within ANC, Mandela co-founded a militant group with the aim of overthrowing the government.
Armed with his law and arts degrees, Mandela and a close friend set up the first South Africa’s black law firm, Mandela & Tambo. He was arrested on several occasions for his stand against the government with charges including leaving his country without permission. He had left South Africa using a false name and visited several countries including England, Morocco and Ethiopia where he gained support for armed struggle.
For 27 years Mandela was imprisoned being moved between 3 different prisons though spending most of the time in Robben Island where he wrote the famous autobiography, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. Upon his release from prison in February 1990, he focused on ending white minority rule and was later democratically voted as the president in 1994. Six years later he declined a second term in the office and gave way to his then deputy.
Mandela died on 5th December 2013 while married to Graca Machel, his third wife. He had six children from his two previous marriages. He was a symbol of global peace earning him over 250 honors including Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed. Nelson Mandela
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. Nelson Mandela
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. Nelson Mandela
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest. Nelson Mandela
It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace. Nelson Mandela
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. Nelson Mandela
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela
Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country. Nelson Mandela