Nelson Mandela Biography

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Who is Nelson Mandela? Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an influential speaker and a international icon for peacemaking. He stood for democracy, learning and equality. Faced with great opposition; He never fought racial discrimination with more racism. He devoted his life to fighting against apartheid (inequality). His life is an inspiration to anyone who has been oppressed. Every July 18th we celebrate Mandela’s legacy and continue to remember him and the great conflicts that he’s overcome. Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18th, 1918 in the small village of Mvezo, Transkei, which was home to the Madiba clan. (“A clan name in Africa represents a person’s ancestry and has deeper meaning than a surname” (Lee 1).) His Mother, Nonqaphi Nosekeni, and Father, Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela were royalty in the Madiba clan. His father was destined to be the next Chief of the Republic of Transkei, but lost his title and fortune due to a dispute with the local (white ruled) magistrate (an African court system). Nelsons family chose to relocate to an even smaller village north of Mvezo called Qunu. It was here that he attended school and received the “Christian” name Nelson. Nelson was the first in his family to ever attend school. At 12 years old, Nelson’s father died of lung disease and was adopted by the then current chief of Transkei, Jongintaba. He was relocated to the chief’s palace in Mqhekezweni, where he continued his education in a small one room school next to the palace learning English, Xhosa (The language spoken in Transkei), History and Geography. Nelson became fascinated with History learning about how life was before a white ruled government. His elders hated the white man. “While black men shared their land, water an... ... middle of paper ... ... In 1996 Mandela “signed into law a new Constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government controlled by majority rule” (“Nelson Mandela”). After just one term, Nelson kept true to a promise he made during his campaign and stepped down after 4 years of President. Nelson retired from politics in 1999, but continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Foundation he founded in 1995. He was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2001 and died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013 of a respiratory infection. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an influential speaker and a national icon for peacemaking. He stood for democracy, learning and equality. Nelson was a man who never stopped fighting for what he believed in. He was a hero to millions and a world peace icon. “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.

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