The Life of Nelson Mandela

ELA 2nd Period

Nelson Mandela was a worldwide hero who will be truly missed. His legacy will stay in our hearts forever.

July 18, 1918

Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa.Mandela was a Xhosa, member of South African people traditionally living in the Easter Cape Province, who was born to a Thembu, member of a Xhosa-speaking people originating in present day KwaZulu-Natal, royal family.


Rolihlahla was Mandela’s birth name. Rolihlahla means,” pulling the branch of the tree” or “troublemaker”. Mandela was the first in his family to get a formal education. During his educational career at a local missionary school a teacher gave the name Nelson to Rolihlahla Mandela. Giving African children English names was a common practice.Growing up Rolihlahla’s father was a chief who served as a counselor to many other tribal chiefs for several years. In 1927, at the age of 9, Mandela’s father died. A high-ranking Thembu regent named Jongintaba Dalindebo adopted the young boy.


In 1939, Nelson decided to enter the University of Fort Hare. Around the year of 1940 students from the University of Fort Hare participated in a boycott against the universities policies. Mandela was expelled from the school. The boycott made the young man realize that he should be able to fight for what he believed in until things are changed.


Nelson Mandela is arrested. He joins 155 others on trial for Treason. All are acquitted my 1961


Nelson is sentenced to five years in prison for incitement and leaving the country without a passport. The next year Mandela pleads not guilty to sabotage which becomes known as the Rivonia Trial


Nelson started to lose his faith in the non-violent approach Mohandas Gandhi once used. Mandela was sent to jail for 27 years because he was categorized as a terrorist by the South African Government. In 1990 Mandela was released through international pressure. From then on Nelson Mandela has been fighting for what he has believed in. Nelson has been a great influence on South Africa and on other human rights activists worldwide.


Nelson Mandela is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize


Elected by Parliament as first President of democratic South Africa.


Mandela steps down after one term President.


Nelson Mandela announces that he will be stepping out of public life.


Nelson's second book Conversation with Myself is published


Nelson Mandela is constantly admitted and discharge from the hospital. Mandela's health starts to go down hill.

December 5, 2013

On this date Nelson Mandela was put to rest at the age of 95. Mandela's strive and courage to fight for what he believed in will be in our minds forever. Nelson has left a legacy for others to see and will be truly missed.

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