Nelson Mandela was a great figure in South Africa and became the first black president. He was held behind bars for his involvement in the anti-racist movement. Mandela was also a social rights activist (Joffe 9). He also doubled his career as a politician, as well as an anthropologist. After getting involved in resistance movement while still a young person in his 20s, he joined the ANC in 1942. For over two decades, Mandela directed a very peaceful campaign that was characterized by non-violent defiance against the administration and the racist policies.
Mandela was arrested and spent over two decades in prison for his involvement as well as offences that were associated with politics. In 1963, together with De Klerk, they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (Angelou 7). They were given the prestigious award because of their involvement and efforts to do away with the apartheid system that rocked the nation. Mandela will be remembered for his acts which are a source of inspiration to many people, especially for his engagement in civil rights activities globally.
The Early Life of Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s father was a chief who also served as a counsellor for the tribal chiefs for many years. However, he lost both his title and fortune over a dispute between him and a local colonial magistrate (Angelou 8). At the time, the younger Mandela was mainly involved in playing the games of younger boys. He acted the make rights passage scenes using the toys that he improvised from natural materials that were easily available to him, such as clay and branches of trees.
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Mandela was baptized in the Methodists Church. Besides, he became the first to get an opportunity to attend school among his family members. Due to the bias of the whites, and as per the custom, he was named Nelson by his new teacher. After the death of his father, his life greatly changed (Hansford 24). Subsequently, Mandela left the carefree life that he was accustomed to. He quickly adapted to the environment with a more sophisticated surrounding (Hansford 25). He was treated well and accorded the same status and responsibilities as the other two children of the royal chief. He later took classes in a school that was next to the royal chief’s palace. He mainly studies English, geography, history, and Xhosa.
Mandela’s Political Career
Mandela welcomed the idea of circumcision to partake in his community’s customs and decided to transition from childhood to adulthood. During the proceedings, his moods changed by a speech that was delivered by Chief Meligqili who spoke very emotionally about young men by explaining that they were enslaved in their land since it was controlled by the whites (Adebajo 15). However, Mandela opined that the chief’s words never made sense but later he made a resolve to have an independent country.
Mandela became very actively involved in the anti-racist movement and joined ANC, with the goal of transforming it to grassroots movement. The party later obtained more strength from millions of rural peasants as well as the working-class who lacked voice under the prevailing regime (Adebajo 15). For over two decades, Mandela got involved in directing peaceful and nonviolent activities of defiance and the regime and the racist policies. In 1956, together with 150 other people, he was charged with treason due to the political stands and advocacy.
Prison Years and Presidency
Mandela got engaged in nonviolent protests against the racist’s policies and apartheid. He changed his views and believed that armed struggle was the only way to obtain change against the regime and the racist policies. In 1961, he made changes in the party and was dedicated to disrupt and use other tactics, such as guerrilla to end the apartheid system (Lazea, Roxana, and Camil 166). During the same period, he organized workers strike but was later arrested for leading the strike and was put behind bars for five years. He was tried again and sentenced to life imprisonment mainly for political offences, which also included the mention of sabotage.
In 1981, there was a plot to have him killed during the recapture but the plot was not successful. Mandela was keen design a symbol of black resistance. The move was well coordinated by an international campaign to have him released from prison (Lazea, Roxana, and Camil 166). Later his release from the prison was successful and he received international support and power that became the foundation of his global political strength and community. Finally, in April 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as the first black president following the first democratic elections in the country. His main policy was to bring changes in the country from a minority rule, apartheid, towards a majority rule. Besides, he used many strategies to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks.
Mandela was a president that worked his ways to unite the people of South Africa. He is known for his efforts to resist the racists’ policies that greatly impacted the lives of South Africans, especially the blacks. After becoming the president, the living standards of many people were improved. Also, he is known as a leader who used his leadership traits to remove the slavery under the previous government that was fond of racial segregation and discrimination. As such, Mandela is a world leader that will be remembered by many generations due to his efforts to promote peace and stability, not only in South Africa but also in the whole world.