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Essay Nelson Mandela or Rolihlahla: Pulling the Branch of a Tree

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Nelson Mandela once said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” (brainyquotes.com). Rolihlahla, the name he was given at birth, means pulling the branch of a tree. This name was appropriate for him, as he believed in “shaking things up” for the right cause. His influence was great in creating equality for all people, of all races in South Africa. Mandela was an extraordinary leader throughout his life because he practiced the most significant qualities of a leader including determination, intelligence, situational skills, sacrifice, and vision.
Determination was a very powerful tool that Mandela used in his life, for no matter what was thrown into his path, he always stood for what he believed in. While attending the University College of Fort Hare Mandela was elected to the Student Representative Council. During this time a majority of the students were unhappy with some of the school policies. Mandela decided to resign from his position on the council in order to align with the students and participate in a boycott that they had organized. As a result he was expelled from school and told that he could return only when he agreed to return to service on the SRC. Committed to the cause he travelled home, only to be faced with an arranged marriage, organized by the chief that adopted Mandela upon the death of his father. Again determined to stand for his beliefs, he fled to Johannesburg to avoid the marriage. He worked hard and found ways to support himself, help others and continue his education.
Mandela showed exceptional intelligence as he valued the importance of education. He affirmed, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can ...


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...nce, situational skills, sacrifice, and vision. He remains an inspiration to the world as one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world.





Works Cited


“Biography.” Nelson Mandela Memory. Web. 29 September 2011.

“Nelson Mandela.” Bio True Story. Web. 29 September 2011.

“Nelson Mandela Leadership Case Study.” Leadership With You. Web. 29 September 2011.

“Nelson Mandela Quotes.” Brainy Quote. Web. 29 September 2011.

Stengel, Richard. “Mandela: His 8 Lessons of Leadership.” Time Magazine World. Web.
29 September 2011.


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