Nelson Mandela

Kailey Bevins

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. He died on December 5th, 2013. Nelson Mandela's parents were Nonqaphi Nosekeni & Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gandla Mandela - principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people. Unfortunately, Nelson Mandela's father died when he just a young child. Nelson Mandela grew up hearing stories, and those inspired him - even as a child, to make his own contribution to helping his people have freedom.

Mandela attended primary school first in Qunu. Then he completed his Junior Certificate at a boarding school institute before heading to a secondary school. After first and secondary school, Mandela began studying for a Bachelors of Arts degree at the University College of Fort Hare. Fort Hare was the first University for black Africans. Unfortunately, Nelson Mandela was not able to finish his degree there as he got expelled for participating in a student protest. He actually completed his degree at the University of South Africa, but went back to his first University to graduate in 1943.

Education: After that, Mandela worked as a mine security officer. Meanwhile he was also studying for an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) at the University of Witwatersrand. However, Mandela was a poor student there and left without graduating in 1948. He eventually began studying once again at the University of London, but was again unable to complete his degree at that University.

In 1952, a two year diploma in law allowed Mandela to study law and to establish the first black law firm, ‘Mandela and Tambo’ with Oliver Tambo. Oliver Tambo was a South African politician and a central figure in the African National Congress. Also in 1952, Mandela was chosen at national volunteer in chief of the defense campaign.

In 1944, Mandela had married a nurse by the name of Evelyn Mase. He had met her through his friend Walter Sisulu, whom he had met when he was living in a town with his mother. Although Mandela himself had been one of 13 children, in total he had five children. Sadly, the first two died of infancy. The children he had were: Makaziwe Mandela, Makgatho Mandela, Zindziswa Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Madiba Mandela.

In 1948, Mandela had not passed the exams that were needed for his LLB. Instead he decided to take the 'qualifying' exam that would allow him to practice as an attorney. Then a change happened and the existing president of the ANC (African National Congress) and Mandela was made president of that youth league in the very early 1950's.

In 1959 the PAC, Pan Africanist Congress, was formed. The ANC instantly became their rivals. The rivalry itself was pushed when the PAC rushed ahead of the ANC's plans and held mass protests against the pass laws. Again, unfortunately, in the March of 1960 around 200 black africans were injured and just about 70 were killed when the police opened fire on them. However, this time, both the ANC and PAC responded. They both set up military wings for the dead and the injured. After that the South African government banned the ANC and PAC. PAC responded with commencements of sabotage.

In 1962 Nelson Mandela was smuggled out of South Africa. He went and talked to the African Nationalist leaders, and the Pan-African Freedom Movement. Then he went to London to catch up with Oliver Tambo. Finally when he returned to his home country, he was arrested for "incitement and illegally leaving the country". He was sentenced to five years prison time.

Most unfortunately, everyone dies. Even great people such as Nelson Mandela. The first african american South African president died on December 5th, 2013. He was 95 years old. His life was long and fulfilling. He will always be remembered as a hero to millions across the world.

Comment Stream