Nelson Mandela

Biography of Nelson Mandela

Who is Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was an activist and the former president of South Africa who became a global advocate of human rights. He was deeply involved in anti-colonial politics and anti apartheid movements.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, also known as Nelson Mandela, was born on July 18 1918, to Nosekeni Fanny and Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa in Mvezo South Africa.

At the age of seven, Mandela was sent to a Methodist school where he his first name ‘Nelson’ forms a teacher. Post his father’s death, his mother entrusted him to Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo who treated Mandela as his own child.

Protests, Universities, Congress Activist, After Graduation

After completing his secondary education he attends the university of Fort hare but did not receive a degree then because of his boycott against university policies and involvement against in the student Representative Council.

Mandela did not receive it later. In 1941, Mandela moved to Johannesburg where he worked for Walter Sisulu, an African National Congress activist.

After completing his graduation via correspondence in 1943, Mandela enrolled in the University of Witwatersrand to pursue his legal studies.

Join ANC, ANCYL, Apartheid Protests

Mandela also joined ANC under the influence of Sisulu. It was during this time that Nelson got actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement. He suggested the formation of a youth wing in ANC, which led to the foundation of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).

The organization was established with the motive to use new and better methods like strikes, boycotts, non- cooperation, and civil disobedience. In 1950, Mandela was appointed as the president of ANCYL.

Highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence movement, Mandela fought against apartheid by formulating the Defiance Campaign with many Communist groups.

Arrests, ANU, Anti-Apartheid Movement

The government counterattacked Mandela’s campaign by permitting mass arrest and martial law. The government also banned J.B.Marks, the ANU president, from making any public appearances, after which Mandela took the position of the president as his successor.

 Mandela was imprisoned several times for his active involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. He was also given a suspended prison sentence for his ‘Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws’ in 1952.

Mandela was banned from attending any meetings or talking to a group of people for six months .During this time, Mandela received his law degree and started working with a firm called Terblanche and Briggish. Later, he established a law firm with Oliver Tambo named Mandela and Tambo The firm commonly dealt with police brutality cases.  

Congress, (Spear of the Nation), Pan-African Freedom Movement

 In 1955, Mandela formed the congress of the people and soon, in 1956 he and other ANC activists were sentenced for getting involved in treasonous acts against the state. Six years later, the trial proved them not guilty.

From 1961 to 1962, Mandela disguised himself and traveled through the country to spread awareness about the mass stay-at-home strike. He also formed the new cell structured for ANC known as ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) ‘or MK. In Feb 1962, Mandela was chosen as the delegate of ANC for the pan-African Freedom Movement for East, South and Central Africa.

President F.W. de Klerk, President of ANC

After retuning form the tour, Mandela was imprisoned for illegally exiting form the country and was sent to Robben Island Prison near Cape Town.

On Feb 11, 1990, Mandela was released from prison by President F.W. de Klerk. Soon after his release, Mandela resumed office at ANC and was elected as the president of ANC.

First Black President of Country

In 1994, when South Africa held its democratic elections for the first time, Nelson Mandela won and became the first black president of the country. As a president, he worked diligently towards terminating apartheid and establishing a new constitution. He expanded healthcare services, combated poverty, and encouraged land became a bridge between the United Kingdom and Libya.

Burundi Civil War, Mandela Foundation, Love Life

Mandela did not contest for a second term, and instead served at health care centers and schools for public benefits. Later, he founded the Mandela Foundation and also helped victims in the Burundi Civil War.

 Mandela married thrice in his lifetime. His first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, divorced him in 1958. In 1958, he got married to Winnie Madikizela – Mandela.  They divorced in 1996.

Mandela got married to Graca Machel on his eightieth birthday. He died on December 05, 2013 at Johannesburg, South Africa due to a respiratory illness.