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A Brief History of Nelson Mandela’s Life

A Brief History of Nelson Mandela Life

Who was Nelson Mandela?

Full name: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Born: 18 July 1918
Hometown: Mvezo, South Africa
Occupation: President of South Africa and civil rights activist
Died: 5 December 2013
Best known for: Becoming the first black President of South Africa and a civil rights hero
Also known as: Madiba History of Nelson Mandela

Madiba’s journey

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, known and loved around the world for his commitment to peace, negotiation, and reconciliation, served as South Africa’s first democratically elected president from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader, as well as a philanthropist with an abiding love for children. Mandela was born into the Xhosa royal family on 18 July 1918 and died on 5 December 2013.

The early years

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni.

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people. History of Nelson Mandela

Education

He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom of giving all schoolchildren “Christian” names.

He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated.

Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest. History of Nelson Mandela

On his return to the Great Place at Mqhekezweni the King was furious and said if he didn’t return to Fort Hare he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. They ran away to Johannesburg instead, arriving there in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer and after meeting Walter Sisulu, an estate agent, he was introduced to Lazer Sidelsky. He then did his articles through a firm of attorneys – Witkin, Eidelman and Sidelsky.

He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943.

A Brief History of Nelson Mandela's Life Pinduoduohomes
A Brief History of Nelson Mandela’s Life

University

Meanwhile, he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission, he was a poor student and left the university in 1952 without graduating.

He only started studying again through the University of London after his imprisonment in 1962 but also did not complete that degree.

In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town. History of Nelson Mandela

Entering politics

Although Mandela became increasingly politically involved from 1942, he only officially joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he played a key role in forming the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). Subsequently, in 1944, he entered into marriage with Evelyn Mase, a nurse and cousin of Walter Sisulu.

They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile “Thembi” and Makgatho, and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. He and his wife divorced in 1958.Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949.

National Volunteer-in-Chief

In 1952 he was chosen as the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint program between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months of hard labour, suspended for two years.

Mandela and Tambo

A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Mandela to practise law, and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established a law firm called Mandela & Tambo. History of Nelson Mandela

In late 1952, authorities banned him for the first time. As a restricted person, he could only secretly witness the adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown on 26 June 1955

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