Nelson Mandela Biography: The Man Who Changed the World


Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist who became the country’s first black president. He was born in 1918 in the village of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape. His father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was a chief councillor to the monarch; his mother was a homemaker. He attended mission schools before being sent to Healdtown, a Wesleyan college. There, he studied English, Latin, history, and geography.

In 1939, he began studying law at the University of Witwatersrand. Mandela became involved in politics while still a student and joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944. He rose through the ranks of the organization and became its president in 1952.

As president, he led peaceful protests against the white minority government’s policies of racial segregation and discrimination. These protests were met with violence from the government, and Mandela was arrested and imprisoned several times throughout his career. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a leader of the organization. During his time as leader, he was arrested and imprisoned for his activism. In 1994, Mandela was elected president in South Africa’s first multiracial elections. As president, he worked to heal the country’s divisions and promote reconciliation between blacks and whites. He also brought about economic and social changes to improve

Nelson Mandela’s legacy continues to this day – he is remembered as a man who fought for justice and equality.

Who was Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was one of the most influential people in the world. He was born in South Africa and became an anti-apartheid activist. He was imprisoned for his activism, but he continued to fight for equality and human rights. He was eventually released from prison and helped to negotiate a end to apartheid. He then became the first black president of South Africa. Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for justice and equality. He is an inspiration to us all.

Nelson Mandela Early life, Education, and family background

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in the village of Mvezo, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. He was born into the Madiba clan, a noble family of the Xhosa-speaking people. His given name, Rolihlahla, means “troublemaker.”

Mandela’s father, Henry Mdingane Gadla Mandela, was a local chieftain who served as a counselor to the paramount chief of the Thembu people. Nelson Mandela grew up watching his father serve the community. As he grew older, Nelson Mandela began to see how unequal the country was for black citizens.

Mandela attended school in nearby Qunu, where he excelled at boxing and swimming. In 1937, he went to Wesleyan Mission College (now University of Fort Hare), one of only two institutions of higher learning for black students in all of South Africa. At Wesleyan, Mandela became increasingly involved in politics and joined the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC).

After finishing his studies at Wesleyan, Mandela returned home only to find that his mother had died while he was away. His father arranged for him to marry Evelyn Mase, a distant cousin. The couple had two children, but their marriage broke up when Mandela moved to Johannesburg.

In 1944, Mandela graduated from the University of South Africa with a bachelor’s degree in law. Although it would have been difficult for him to find an open position as an attorney since blacks could not be admitted to the South African bar, he nonetheless went out into the world armed with a B.A., a law degree and his talents as an eloquent public speaker. He qualified for a job at the law firm in Johannesburg run by prominent pro-apartheid advocate and future Prime Minister of South Africa, D. F. Malan.

Here Mandela spent several years before that too was closed down by the government in 1951 due to his political activism. At this point, Mandela became part of the African National Congress (ANC) movement spearheaded by a group including Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo who had been founding members of the Congress Alliance in 1944. Once Mandela became aware that his own moderate efforts at political change were backed by a strong insurrectionist organization, namely the African National Congress, he joined their ranks and devoted himself to tirelessly improving their struggle for equal rights.

After meeting Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg’s Rosebank district in 1943, Mandela agreed to help found the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). The new Youth League wanted more action than just discussion and negotiation with whites, which they viewed as inherently futile, but they also recognized that they had to temper their militancy with some picture of themselves as humble servants of the state. They also wanted a non-racial South Africa, but not one based on communism.

Nelson Mandela Political Career Activity

Nelson Mandela activism and involvement in politics helped to change the world for the better. Here are some highlights from his political career:

-In 1944, he joined the African National Congress (ANC), a political party dedicated to fighting for equality and justice for all South Africans.

-In 1952, he helped to start the Defiance Campaign, a nonviolent protest against unjust laws in South Africa.

-In 1955, he helped to organize the Congress of the People, which adopted the Freedom Charter, a document calling for equality and civil rights for all South Africans.

-In 1956, he was arrested and charged with treason. He was acquitted in 1961.

-In 1962, he was arrested again and sentenced to life in prison. He spent 27 years in prison, during which time he became an international symbol of resistance to apartheid.

-In 1990, he was released from prison and began negotiations with the South African government to end apartheid.

Africa Condition During the Time of Nelson Mandela?

When Nelson Mandela was born in 1918, Africa was a very different place. The continent was still largely under colonial rule, with European powers controlling much of the land and its resources. African people were not allowed to participate in the political process and were subjected to racism, violence, and poverty.

Mandela dedicated his life to changing this reality. He became involved in the anti-colonial movement and fought for the rights of African people. He was jailed for his activism, but he did not give up. After 27 years in prison, he was released and continued his work for justice. In 1994, he became the first black president of South Africa, and he worked to heal the divisions between black and white people.

Under Mandela’s leadership, South Africa became a free and democratic country. He is widely hailed as a hero, and his legacy continues to inspire people around the world who are fighting for justice.

Nelson Mandela Struggles in his political movement

Nelson Mandela was born into a royal family in South Africa, but he later became a political activist. He was arrested and jailed for his efforts to end apartheid, the policy of racial segregation in South Africa. He was released from prison after 27 years, and he went on to lead the African National Congress (ANC) to victory in the first democratic elections in South Africa. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Nelson Mandela Awards, Honor and Achievements

Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for justice, equality and freedom, and changed the course of history. Here, we remember some of his Nelson Mandela awards, honors and achievements.

The Nobel Peace Prize

In 1993, Mandela was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.

The Madison Guradian Award

In 2001, Mandela was presented with The Madison Guardian Award in recognition of his “lifelong struggle against racial oppression”.

Honorary Citizenship of the United States

In 2009, Mandela was awarded Honorary Citizenship of the United States by President Barack Obama. This is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a foreign national, and recognizes Mandela’s “outstanding contribution to peace, democracy, human rights and international cooperation”.

How Nelson Mandela inspired the world

Nelson Mandela is an international icon. His story is one of hope and inspiration, and his legacy continues to live on through the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He inspired people to stand up for what they believe in, even when it seemed impossible.

Nelson Mandela Retirement and Death

In 1994, Mandela was elected President of South Africa in the country’s first multiracial elections. He served one five-year term and then stepped down. He continued to work for peace and reconciliation and against poverty and disease.

Mandela died on December 5, 2013 at his home in Johannesburg. He was 95 years old. His death was mourned around the world as the loss of a great leader and a true hero.

Unknown facts about Nelson Mandela

1. Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

2. His father, Henry Mgadla Mandela, was a chief counselor to the Acting Paramount Chief of the Thembu people.

3. Mandela’s mother, Nosekeni Fanny, was illiterate.

4. Mandela was given the name Rolihlahla, which means “troublemaker”, by his teacher when he was seven years old.

5. He attended mission schools run by white missionaries, where he learned English and Afrikaans.

6. In 1941, Mandela began his studies at the University of Fort Hare, one of the few institutions of higher learning for black Africans at that time.

7. He was expelled from Fort Hare for taking part in a student protest and transferred to the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

8. Mandela completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943 through correspondence courses from the University of South Africa.

9. In 1944, he joined the African National Congress (ANC), a political party that fought against apartheid and racial discrimination in South Africa.

10. In 1948, the South African government enacted apartheid, or separate development, regulations. These laws further segregated South African society and strengthened discrimination against black Africans and Indians.

11. That same year, Mandela became one of the founders of an ANC underground movement called Umkonto we Sizwe (MK) , roughly translated as “Spear of the Nation.” The MK’s goal was to overthrow apartheid and establish equal rights for all people in South Africa through acts of sabotage.

12. Mandela acted as the organization’s Chief Representative for a nation-wide network, but he never personally engaged in any acts of sabotage.

Nelson Mandela Famous Quotes

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“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.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“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.”

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

“I like friends who have independent views. I like people who think differently from me but not so differently that they are opposed to everything I stand for.”

“I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.”


Nelson Mandela was a man who changed the world. He fought for equality and justice, and he inspired people of all backgrounds to stand up for what they believe in. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to fight for a better world.

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