Nelson Mandela had a lifelong dream of banning apartheid (the separation of whites and nonwhites in South Africa). He worked to bring peace and equal rights to black people in South Africa including the right to vote in elections. He was elected the president of South Africa and was the country's first black president.
Nelson as a Child
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in the Transkei territory of South Africa. At the age of seven, Nelson became the first member of his family to attend school. His father was Chief Henry Mandela, leader of the Tembu Tribe. When he was nine, his father died of tuberculosis, and Nelson was sent to live with a family friend, Regent Jongintaba. Nelson continued in school and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. He graduated early and went on to Fort Hare University. He was supposed to inherit his father's place in the tribe, but decided to continue his education instead. Eventually he became a lawyer. He was also interested in boxing and running.
African National Congress
In 1944 Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress. The African National Congress, or ANC was a group formed in 1912 by chiefs, church leaders and other people from different African countries to support rights for the African people. He was involved with fighting against the apartheid rules given by the National Party. The National Party was the group that was the government of South Africa and was made up of mainly white people. In 1948, the National Party enforced apartheid which is the separation of whites and nonwhites. In South Africa, black people often had no rights and the white people controlled the government.
Many people fought against apartheid between 1948 and 1991. People protested by holding demonstrations and strikes. There was also violence and many people, most of them black, were killed.
Nelson was arrested in 1956 and charged with treason. After being held for five years, he was found not guilty in 1961. The ANC was banned in 1960, and Nelson Mandela went into hiding and continued to fight against apartheid.
In 1962 Nelson Mandela was arrested again. On June 12, 1964 he was convicted of conspiracy and sabotage. He was sentenced to life in prison. He was put in the Robben Island prison for eighteen years. While he was in prison, he continued his education and earned a law degree from the University of London. He also became very popular and one of the most important black leaders in South Africa while he was in prison. He refused to give up his beliefs over and over again even though he could have been freed. He was finally released from prison in 1982 by the new president Frederik Willem De Klerk.
After being released from prison, Nelson continued his lifelong dream of banning apartheid. His main goal was to bring peace to the nonwhites in South Africa and for them to get the right to vote in elections. He was also still a part of the African National Congress and became their president in 1991.
The first presidential election where all races were allowed to vote was on April 27, 1994. Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa, he was the country's first black president. F. W. De Klerk, the man who released him from prison, became his first deputy. He remained president until June of 1999.
Since his release from prison, Nelson Mandela has won many awards. The most famous was the Nobel Peace Prize. He won it in 1993 and shared it with F.W. De Klerk. He is probably very proud of what he has accomplished, and I feel thankful that he worked so hard to bring peace.
Famous Quotes by Nelson Mandela
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
"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, ..."