Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela was born on July 18,1918 in Madiba Clan in Mvezo, Transkei. Parents of Nelson are Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela. His father died when he was a child and Nelson became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni.


When Nelson was a child he went to a primary school in Qunu. At this school it was cutsom to give all school students christian names. Nelson's orginal name was Rolihlahla but Miss Mdigane gave him the name Nelson.


Nelson got his Junior Certificate at Clarksburg Boarding Institute. After that he went to Healdtown to a Weselyan secondary school to repute where he matriculated. Then he went on to get a Bachelor of Arts degree at University college of Fort Hare. But he did not complete it there he went to University of South Africa to get his BA completed then went to Fort Hart to graduate which was 1943.

When he returned

While he did return to Fort Hare for graduation, the King Mkhekezweni told him if he did not return that he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. So they ran away to Johannesburg instead of arriving to the King in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer.

The beginning

In 1942 he became very political in 1944 he joined the African National Congress. Then he helped them form the the ANC youth league. Also in 1944 he got married to Evelyn Mase. Evelyn was Walter Sisulu’s cousin and she was also a nurse. He meet Walter before he started working at the mine. Evelyn and Nelson had two sons Madiba Thembekile and Makgatho. Then they had two daughters both named Makaziwe. But one of the daughters died as a infinite. Nelson and he wife got seperated in 1955 and officially got divorced in 1958.


While all of that was going on in 1949 Nelson rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its work the ANC adopted in 1949 a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action. In 1952 he was chosen to join a campain of civil disobedence agains't six laws. Nelson and 19 others were charged for joining and had 9 months of hard labor and were suspended for 2 years. At the end of 1952 he was band for the first time. Time went on as he watched his freedom Charter was adopted at Kliptown on 26 June 1955. Nelson was also arrested in a countrywide police swoop of 156 activists on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the trial. During the trial Nelson got married to Winnie Madikizela whom was a social worker.


In 1960 police officers killed 69 unarmed people in a protest at Sharpeville about past laws. This developed to the country's first state of emergency on March 31 and the banning of the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress on 8 April. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues in the Treason Trial were among the thousands detained during the state of emergency. Nelson traveled days before the Treason Trial to Pietermaritzburg so he could speak at the All-in African Conference which he established and resolved that he should write to the Prime Minster Verwoerd requesting for a non-racial convention. Nelson did not agree with South Africa being a republic so he went underground and started planning the strike for the 29, 30, and March 31.

Called off

After a face of a massive mobilization of state security the strike was called off early. Nelson then asked in June 1961 if he could lead the armed struggle and establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation). On January 11,1962 Nelson used his adopted name and left South Africa secretly. He traveled to England to gain support for the armed struggle. He returned to South Africa July, 1962 and he recieved military training in Morocco and Ethiopia. Nelson was arrested and charged with illegally leaving the country and persuading workers to strike.

Dealth Penalty

In October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined nine others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. Facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalized: "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.” On June 11th 1964 Nelson and 7 others were convicted of imprisonment for life. Winnie and Nelson had got divorced in 1966 but while they were married they had two daughters.


On December 7, 1988 he was transferred to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. Then on February 11, 1990 he was realsed from its gates nine days after unbanning ANC and PAC. Nelson got into official talks about ending the white minority rule. In 1991 he was elected as president of the ANC.


In 1993 Nelson won the Novel Peace Prize. Then on April 6, 1994 Nelson voted for the first time in his life. On May 10, 1994 Nelson was elected as South Africa's first democratic president. In 1998 on his 80th birthday he got married again to a different woman named Graca Machel. True to his promise Nelson Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela-Rhodes Foundation.