Nelson Mandela Timeline

By: Isabelle Comisford, 3rd period

Nelson Mandela was born

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in a small village of Mveso, and on the banks of Mbashe River in Transkei, South Africa. Nelson was originally born as Rolihlahla Mandela. "Rolihlahla" means "pulling the branch of a tree" in the Xhosa language. As a child, Nelson's father loss his job as a counselor to tribal chiefs causing the family to have to move to a smaller village in Qunu, South Africa.

What's next?

In Qunu, South Africa, the family lived in in huts and ate a usual diet of maize, sorghum, pumpkin, and beans. The hut rested on a little grassy valley where there were no roads, but only paths where livestock occupied the land. Then, he became the first person in his family to attend school.

The change

1927- When Mandela was 9 years old, his father passed away from lung disease, causing Nelson's life to change dramatically. Recently after the passing, he was adopted by Jognintaba Dalindyebo. Nelson eventually left behind his life in Qunu, and began to grow up.

In his 20's- 1938

In his 20's, Nelson was involved in the anti-apartheid movements. Also during this time, Mandela was related to the king, but only by the wife of the Ixhiba clan, a so- called "Left Hand House."


In 1941 Mandela arrived in Johannesburg, because he found that Jogintaba had arranged marriages for him and justice. In Johannesburg, Nelson found work as a night watchman at Crown Mines. Unfortunately, then he was fired because the headman had discovered that he was a runaway.


After in 1942, he joined the African National Congress. This led to him passing his BA exams in early 1943, in order to follow a political path as a lawyer.


On August 5th, 1962 police captured Nelson and imprisoned him in Johannesburg’s Marshall Square prison under the charges of inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country without permission. After a while in 1964, Mandela was transferred to a prison on Robben Island for the next 18 years.

1964- next 18 years

During the 18 years he was physically and verbally harassed by several white prison wardens, and was isolated from political prisons in a damp concrete cell measuring 8 feet by 7 feet

The end of hor

Recovering from the horrific experience in different prisons his punishment came to an end in August of 1990. He then gave a public speech broadcasted around the world and then was elected to be the President of South Africa in 1994.

Ending his run of office in 1999, he remarried to his third wife and then in 2001, was diagnosed and treated with prostate cancer. In 2004, he announced his formal retirement and returned to his village of Qunu. A year later, Mandela's son died of AIDS. At the final match of the World Cup in South Africa, Nelson made his last public appearance, and then was hospitalized in 2011. Nelson Mandela then died on December 5th, 2013.

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