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Nelson Mandela Essay

637 words - 3 pages

FULL NAME: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, World Leader, Writer
BIRTH DATE: July 18, 1918
DEATH DATE: December 05, 2013
EDUCATION: Clarkebury Boarding Institute, Wesleyan College, University College of Fort Hare, University of London, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
PLACE OF BIRTH: Mveso, Transkei, South Africa
PLACE OF DEATH: Johannesburg, South Africa
Also known as: Nelson Mandela
ORIGINALLY: Rolihlahla Mandela
NICKNAME: Black Pimpernel

Nelson Mandela was married three times to wives: Evelyn Ntoko Mase, Nomazmo Winifred Madikizela and his present wife Graca Machel. He got his English name from his teacher. In the 23 years since Nelson Mandela walked from his notorious Robben Island prison cell, leaving behind the rotting corpse of South Africa’s system of racial and economic oppression known as apartheid.

A Black South African, for example, could be beaten for ...view middle of the document...

Even laws were different. A black man found raping a white woman for example could expect years in prison, whereas a white man raping a black woman would probably be charged a small fine.
The black and colored people of South Africa protested against this inequality led by the likes of Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada. Most of the initial protests were in the form of passive resistance. In one protest against apartheid Mandela publicly burnt his 'pass'. These passes had to be carried by all black men and they were not allowed to leave their own district without a pass. There was much unrest among the black community when the government tried to force the carrying of passes to include women.
Working with the ANC (African National Council) Nelson Mandela apartheid efforts increased and he himself began to realize that passive resistance was not winning the fight. Plans were made to bomb places of significance to apartheid, but these were always planned to avoid anyone being hurt or killed. Nelson Mandela was tried for treason and at one stage was acquitted. In 1964 though, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Under apartheid Mandela served nearly 27 years in prison but he never gave up the fight. When Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island he continued his work and teachings. In South Africa and around the world, Nelson Mandela's anti-apartheid messages gained in popularity.
There is probably no one who has done so much to end the rule of apartheid as Nelson Mandela. He has been the voice of the people and made the message heard right around the world. Certainly Mandela did not act alone but his voice and actions held real power and the battle was eventually won.
After his release from prison in 1990 Nelson Mandela went on to become president of South Africa. Apartheid was officially ended though there is no doubt that much of the racism is still deeply rooted in the country. While Nelson Mandela is no longer president, he is highly respected and his voice is still heard. As a leader and a peacemaker Nelson Mandela was the leading force in the battle against apartheid. A battle worth fighting for and a battle won.

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