Oct 15, 2017 // By:email@example.com // No Comment
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 to December 5, 2013) was a nonviolence anti-apartheid activist, politician and philanthropist who became South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. Beginning in 1962, Mandela spent 27 years in prison for political offenses. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system. For generations to come, Nelson Mandela will continue to be a source of inspiration for civil rights activistsworldwide.
When and How Did Nelson Mandela Die?
On December 5, 2013, at the age of 95, Nelson Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. After suffering a lung infection in January 2011, Mandela was briefly hospitalized in Johannesburg to undergo surgery for a stomach ailment in early 2012. He was released after a few days, later returning to Qunu. Mandela would be hospitalized many times over the next several years — in December 2012, March 2013 and June 2013 — for further testing and medical treatment relating to his recurrent lung infection.
Following his June 2013 hospital visit, Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, canceled a scheduled appearance in London to remain at her husband’s his side, and his daughter, Zenani Dlamini, flew back from Argentina to South Africa to be with her father. Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, issued a statement in response to public concern over Mandela’s March 2013 health scare, asking for support in the form of prayer: “We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts,” Zuma said.
On the day of Mandela’s death, Zuma released a statement speaking to Mandela’s legacy: “Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society … in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another,” he said.
Children and Wife
Mandela was married three times and had six children. He wed his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, in 1944. The couple had four children together: Madiba Thembekile (d. 1964), Makgatho (d. 2005), Makaziwe (d. 1948 at nine months old) and Maki. The couple divorced in 1957. In 1958, Mandela wed Winnie Madikizela; the couple had two daughters together, Zenani (now Argentina’s South African ambassador) and Zindziswa (the South African ambassador to Denmark), before splitting in 1996. Two years later, in 1998, Mandela married Graca Machel, the first Education Minister of Mozambique, with whom he remained until his death in 2013.
Movie and Books
In 1994, Mandela published his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, much of which he had secretly written while in prison. The book inspired the 2013 movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He also published a number of books on his life and struggles, among them No Easy Walk to Freedom; Nelson Mandela: The Struggle Is My Life; and Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.
In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18th) was declared Mandela Day, an international day to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy. According to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the annual event is meant to encourage citizens worldwide to give back the way that Mandela has throughout his lifetime. A statement on the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s website reads: “Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.”
When and Where Was Nelson Mandela Born?
Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, in the tiny village of Mvezo, on the banks of the Mbashe River in Transkei, South Africa. “Rolihlahla” in the Xhosa language literally means “pulling the branch of a tree,” but more commonly translates as “troublemaker.”
Family and Early Life
Nelson Mandela’s father, who was destined to be a chief, served as a counselor to tribal chiefs for several years, but lost both his title and fortune over a dispute with the local colonial magistrate. Mandela was only an infant at the time, and his father’s loss of status forced his mother to move the family to Qunu, an even smaller village north of Mvezo. The village was nestled in a narrow grassy valley; there were no roads, only foot paths that linked the pastures where livestock grazed. The family lived in huts and ate a local harvest of maize, sorghum, pumpkin and beans, which was all they could afford. Water came from springs and streams and cooking was done outdoors. Mandela played the games of young boys, acting out male right-of-passage scenarios with toys he made from the natural materials available, including tree branches and clay.
At the suggestion of one of his father’s friends, Mandela was baptized in the Methodist Church. He went on to become the first in his family to attend school. As was custom at the time, and probably due to the bias of the British educational system in South Africa, Mandela’s teacher told him that his new first name would be Nelson.