Nelson Mandela

By: Mackenzie Hedgepeth

Early Years
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918
In 1940 he was expelled from University of Fort Hare from going on strike
In 1941 he fled Johannesburg to avoid arranged marriage and got work at a law firm with the help of Walter Sisulu

Nelson Mandela qualified as a lawyer around this time and in 1952 he set up the first black law firm with Oliver Tambo. Soon after qualifing as a lawyer there was a ban by the apartheid government. The ANC asked Nelson Mandela to make sure the party could still function but underground. In 1956 Nelson Mandela was caught and charged with treason along with 155 other members in the party. The trial lasted for about four and a half years and ended with him being guilty. Nelson Mandela married his second wife named Winnie Madikizela in 1958.

Nelson Mandela Life Sentence

In March 1960 in Sharpeville police killed nearly 70 protesters. This was not unexpected by the government. As a way to get ready the government declared a state of emergency and banned the ANC. The ANC formed a military wing that was led by Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela was arrested for trying to leave the country illegally in 1962. Nelson Mandela was charged with sabotage while in prison in 1963. Him and seven others were sentenced to life in prison in 1964 and jailed on Robben Island

Freed from Jail

In the 1980's international pressure to free Mandela had come up. The president of the country at the time named P. W. Botha offered to free Mr. Mandela in exchange for Mandela's renunciation of violence as a means of solving the countries racial problems. However Nelson Mandela refused this offer and stayed in jail. Tension in Mandela's country grew and grew and as a result countries all around the world tightened their sanctions against South Africa and its apartheid rule. President F.W. de Klerk buckled under the pressure and finally relented. As a result on February 11, 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed.

Nelson Mandela and his Nobel Peace Prize

In 1993 Nelson Mandela was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize jointly with FW De Klerk. They were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring stability to South Africa. The Nobel Committee said that both men had a brilliant contribution to peace. Nelson Mandela was the one accepting the award and Mr. Mandela said "We will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world."

Nelson Mandela as president

Nelson Mandela became president in 1994. Mandela was the first ever black president in all the history of South Africa. For the first time in years people off all races voted in the election. Nelson Mandela was representing the ANC party in the election. The ANC won so Nelson Mandela became president. On May 10,1994 Nelson Mandela's inauguration was held and Nelson Mandela said "Let freedom reign, God bless Africa!" Nelson Mandela's partner was Thabo Mbeki who took over day to day running of the country so Mr. Mandela could promote the country abroad.

Nelson Mandela's return to Robben

As a way to mark the fifth anniversary of his release Nelson Mandela returned to the Robbon Island prison where he spent 18 years of captivity. The visit was made in February of 1995 along with other former prisoners who had served their time on the island being forced to do hard labour.

Nelson Mandela steps down as president

In 1997 Nelson Mandela stepped down as the ANC president. In the polls of 1999 Mr. Mandela's partener Thabo Mbeki led the ANC party to victory once again. On Mandela's 80th birthday he married his third wife Graca Machel. During this time Mandela became South Africa's highest-profile ambassador. Nelson Mandela campaigned against HIV/Aids and he also helped secure the 2010 football World Cup. In 2004 Nelson Mandela announced his retirement from the public life. Nelson was joking around with reporters and he said "Don't call me, I'll call you"

Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday

Nelson Mandela went all out for his 90th birthday. Many musicians, film stars and politicians joined Nelson Mandela in the celebration of his 90th birthday. His 90th birthday party was held in London's Hyde Park. His 90th birthday party was a concert. The concert was 3 and a half hours long and nearly 47,000 people were there. During the concert Nelson Mandela went on the stage himself and gave a speech to which he said "It is time for new hands to lift the burdens, it is in your hands now." Amy Whinehouse, Leona Lewis, Will Smith and Jerry Dammers were just a few of the performers there.

Nelson Mandela made only a few appearances after his 90th birthday party bash. One of his last appearances was in 2010 at the closing ceremony of the football World Cup which was hosted by South Africa. In January 2011 Nelson Mandela was admitted to a hospital with a respiratory infection and he suffered repeated infections over the next two years. Nelson Mandela died at his home on December 5, 2013. That day was a day of grieving for people all over the world. Nelson Mandela was taken from this world after a long life. Nelson Mandela left his footprints everywhere and will surely be missed by many.


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