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Nelson Mandela Essay

2235 words - 9 pages

Mr. Hobin
15 January 2014

Nelson Mandela

A person that is able to think beyond himself and help those around him is the authentic definition of what it is to be a hero. Throughout the many struggles that a human can endure in their lifetime, it is possible for them to overcome very troubling circumstances, no matter how severe the situations may be. One man who suffered for a good portion of his life in prison, but managed to make change in the way South Africa fought for peace was Nelson Mandela. He was a leader of apartheid, a nation and the world. Nelson Mandela supported reconciliation and negotiation, and ...view middle of the document...

Mandela was fortunate enough to attend the University of South Africa; this was after he was expelled from the university college of Fort Hare for leading a protest. Mandela eventually received his general Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of South Africa. This degree bestowed Mandela the opportunity to practice law in South Africa and he did so. Nelson Mandela and his childhood friend Oliver Tambo, the two of them founded Africa’s first ‘black’ law firm ‘Mandela and Tambo’. After finishing his degree, he began studying at University of the Witwatersrand to get his LLB, which is essentially a law degree. Finally after imprisonment, the switching of universities and other reasons, Nelson Mandela achieved his LLB in 1989. during the last few months of his prison sentence he managed to accomplish his degree through the University of South Africa. Although he received these degrees later in his life, Nelson Mandela’s political involvement began when he was only twenty-four years old. He only officially joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944; he also helped in the development of the ANC youth league in South Africa.
Moving forward a decade or so, what most people do know about Nelson Mandela is that he served twenty-seven years in prison for treason. Nelson Mandela was first arrested on the fifth of December 1955; this then led to his 1956 treason trial. During Mandela’s trial he got married to Winnie Madikizela and had two children with her, the couple managed to stay together through his trial as well as his entire prison sentence. However the two did end up divorcing in 1996. March 21 1960 was a step backwards for South Africa. Police officers opened fire on sixty-nine civilians that were protesting against the pass laws held at Sharpeville. This event led to the country’s first state of emergency, as well as the banning of the ANC on April 8. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues were among the thousands that were detained during this state of emergency. Days before the end of the treason trial, Mandela traveled to a town in South Africa known as Pietermaritzburg. He went to Pietermaritzburg to speak at the all-in- Africa conference; the speech he recited resulted in Mandela believing that he should write to the prime minister requesting a non-racial national convention; and to warn the prime minister not to agree that there would be a national strike against south Africa becoming a republic nation.
On January 11 1962, Nelson Mandela secretly left South Africa, using an adopted name ‘David Motsamayi’. He fled to South Africa in order to travel around Africa as well as England to gain support in the armed struggle going on in South Africa. During his travels, he received military training in both Morocco and Ethiopia - this was so he could return to South Africa with some military background so he wasn’t going back without some knowledge.
Little did Mandela know that his...

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