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Nelson Mandela. Childhood Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. He is the son of Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela. Before Mandela got his name “Nelson” he was named Rolihlahla wich means.‘troublemaker’. He was given the name Nelson by his white school teacher. After the death of his father in 1927, Mandela was placed under the care of his father’s cousin, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. A few months into his stay in Johannesburg, Mandela was introduced to a young agent named Walter Sisulu who immediately took him under his wings. Mandela moved in with Sisulu and his mother at their home in Orlando, Soweto. Sisulu became Mandela lifelong friend and political mentor.

Family life Nelson Mandela father died when Nelson was nine years old. From that time on he was raised by Jongintaba (his father’s cousin), until he escaped from an arranged marriage. From the time Mandela began his fight against apartheid and the fight for equality, it would be clear that Nelson Mandela wife would need to be a strong and brave person. Mandela has had three wives in his life, he married the last one on his 80th birthday. Mandela has always been a strong supporter of children and education. The Nelson Mandela Children fund is just another of this man’s achievements. Nelson Mandela is the father of 6 children. He became farther to four children from his first marriage to Evelyn Mase and 2 children with his second wife Winnie Madikizela. Nelson Mandela's children had to be a bit special, and some of them never really got to see their father at all because he was in prison for most of their lives. Both of Mandela daughters from his first marriage were named Makazawie. Madiba Thembikile (one of his sons) was killed in a car accident when he was 25 years old (1969). Nelson Mandela was in prison at the time and was not allowed to come to his child's funeral. Makgatho (his other son) died of AIDS in 2005.

Education Nelson Mandela is very well educated. He believes in education and life-long learning. When he was only seven years old he became the first in his family who went to school where a teacher gave him the English name Nelson. He went to Wesleyan mission school. When he was 16 he started at Clarkebury Boarding School. Instead of taking the usual three years to complete his Junior Certification it only took him Nelson 2 years. Mandela


went on to study law at the University of Witswatersrand. Nelson Mandela's university life was interrupted by his involvement in the ANC. Mandela continued his legal education while he was in prison too. He was educated in 1940.

Imprisonment Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years for fighting for a cause he believed in. When he was in prison he kept studying for his legal education. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned as a terrorist, convicted of betrayal and sabotage and sentenced for life because he was a member of the African National Congress and they were all sentenced as terrorists in around 1961. His only real crime was to free his country South Africa for apartheid and try to bring democracy and equality for all. Mandela often gave legal advice to both prisoners and prison staff. His love and belief in education was appreciated, and Robben Island became known as the 'Nelson Mandela University'. It was a cruel and tough life in prison, but Mandela managed to turn it into a place of learning.

ANC The African National Congress was founded in 1912 (6 years before Nelson Mandela birth) to fight apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela joined the ANC in 1943. From that time on he never lost his vision for the things that the ANC stands for. In the ANC Mandela found the way to a free South Africa but it did not come without a high price. In 1956, 156 members of the ANC were arrested and prosecuted for treason. In 1961 they were all released. He lasted about 17 month before he was caught again and imprisoned as a terrorist, convicted of betrayal and sabotage because he was a member of the African National Congress and he came in prison again. It was not until 1990 that Mandela was released. Shortly after his release from prison Nelson Mandela became ANC President. When black Africans were allowed to vote the ANC Mandela led party won the election and Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa.

Later life When Nelson Mandela was alive, he enjoyed the things he loved most at his home in Qunu. He enjoyed listening to music, both classical European and African, and the company of family, friends and children, especially his grandchildren. He did many things to fight apartheid and among the thousands who have met with Mandela, almost all are impressed by the man, no matter if they are rich businessmen, superstars, or small children.


Presidency In April 1994 the Mandela-led ANC won South Africa’s first elections, and on May 10 Mandela was sworn in as president of the country’s first multi-ethnic government. He established in 1995 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which investigated human rights violations under apartheid, and he introduced housing, education, and economic development initiatives designed to improve the living standards of the country’s black population. In 1996 he oversaw the enactment of a new democratic constitution. Mandela did not seek a second term as South African president and was succeeded by Mbeki in 1999. After leaving office Mandela retired from active politics but maintained a strong international presence as an advocate of peace, reconciliation, and social justice, often through the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, established in 1999. He was a founding member of the Elders, a group of international leaders established.

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Nelson Mandela  

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