The Biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist considered one of the most iconic and inspiring figures of the 20th century.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, a region in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
The Biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the son of a local chief, and he was named Rolihlahla, which means “troublemaker” in the Xhosa language.
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Early Life and Education of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
As a young boy, Mandela was fascinated by his father’s stories about their clan’s history. And his people’s struggles against colonialism and apartheid.
He attended a local missionary school where his teacher gave him the name “Nelson,”. He went on to attend a secondary school in the nearby town of Clarkebury.
Mandela enrolled at the University of Fort Hare, one of the few universities in South Africa that accepted black students.
Here, he was in political activism, joining the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. And leading a student protest against the university’s policies.
However, he was expelled from the university for his activism. And later completed his studies through a correspondence course at the University of South Africa.
After completing his education, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela moved to Johannesburg and began practicing law.
He participated in the ANC’s campaign against apartheid, which was a system of institutionalized racial segregation. And also discrimination that the white minority government had introduced in 1948.
Mandela became a leading figure in the struggle against apartheid, organizing boycotts, strikes, and other forms of nonviolent resistance.
In 1952, Mandela charged with sedition for his role in organizing a countrywide civil disobedience campaign.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison, but his time behind bars strengthened his commitment to the anti-apartheid cause.
In 1960, the South African government banned the ANC. However, Mandela went underground, becoming the commander-in-chief of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation).
The group carried out a series of sabotage attacks against government targets. And Mandela also became one of the most wanted men in South Africa.
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Imprisonment and Release Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
In 1962, Mandela was charge with sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government.
He received a court condemnation to life imprisonment; to the notorious Robben Island prison for the next 27 years.
During his time in prison, Mandela became a symbol of resistance against apartheid, and his imprisonment became a rallying cry for anti-apartheid activists worldwide.
Mandela remained committed to the cause of freedom and equality, and he continued campaigning for the rights of black South Africans from behind bars.
In 1990, after years of international pressure, the South African government finally released Mandela from prison.
Mandela emerged from prison as a hero and a symbol of hope for millions worldwide who followed his struggle for freedom and justice.
Presidency and Legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
In 1994, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in the country’s first multi-racial democratic election.
As president, Mandela worked on healing the wounds of apartheid and building a new South Africa based on the principles of equality and justice.
During his presidency, Mandela oversaw the drafting a new constitution that enshrined the principles of democracy and human rights.
He also worked to promote reconciliation between the different racial and ethnic groups in South Africa and championed causes such as education, health care, and poverty reduction.
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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela campaigned for peace and justice all throughout the world.
He also played a role in bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.
Decades before the end of Apartheid, Mandela served as an inspiration for civil rights campaigns around the world, especially in the United States.