On December 5, passed away one of the greatest men of all time at the respectable age of 95 years old. The South Africa’s former president was known as an anti-apartheid revolutionary who spent 27 years in prison for his inability to accept injustice, unfairness, and inequality. And these feelings would inhabit him all his life.
Born July 18, 1918, in the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, Rolihlahla Mandela received the first name “Nelson” by one of his teachers in primary school because it was customary to give children “Christian” names.
Mr. Mandela first joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 and he fought to overthrow the apartheid system until his arrest on August 11, 1962. He was sentenced to life in prison in what was known as the Rivonia Trial. Here is an extract of his famous speech called “Speech from the Dock”, on April 20, 1964, while facing death penalty:
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
After his release from prison on Sunday, February 11, 1990, at the age of 71, Nelson Mandela made numerous talks to end white minority rule and on May 10, 1994, he was established as the first South African elected President at the age of 76. On March 29, 1999, he stepped down from the presidency after a term, as promised.
Since 2009, July 18 has been declared “Nelson Mandela International Day” by the United Nations in honor of his contributions to the end of apartheid and to human rights, freedom and peace all around the world.
In the video below, you will learn more in depth about his life and his family. He was a remarkable man who wasn’t afraid to die for his beliefs and was blessed with a gigantic heart and a tremendous sense of compassion. He will be missed by billions of people everywhere who share his desire for equality amongst humans, whatever the color of their skin.
Photo credit: South Africa The Good News/Flickr