Nelson Mandela Birthday

On 18 July 1918, Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa’s Cape Province.

Nelson Mandela Early Life

Mandela’s father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela(1880-1928), was a local chief and councillor to the monarch.

Both his parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent him to a local Methodist school when he was about seven.

Later Priest baptized Mandela a Methodist. His teacher gave him English forename “Nelson”.

He developed a love of African history, listening to the tales told by elderly visitors to the palace. A visiting chief, Joyi’s anti-imperialist rhetoric greatly influenced him.  

At the time he nevertheless considered the European colonialists not as oppressors but as benefactors who had brought education and other benefits to southern Africa.

Nelson Mandela Family

Soon Mandela met Evelyn Mase, a trainee nurse and ANC activist from Engcobo, Transkei. Entering a relationship and marrying in October 1944.  

They divorced in March 1958 under the multiple strains of his adultery and constant absences, devotion to revolutionary agitation, and the fact that she was a Jehovah’s Witness, a religion requiring political neutrality.

Mandela’s second wife was the social worker Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, whom he married in June 1958, although they divorced in March 1996. Later Mandela married his third wife, Graça Machel, on his 80th birthday in July 1998.

Nelson Mandela Children

Mandela married three times, fathered six children, and had seventeen grandchildren and at least seventeen great-grandchildren. He could be stern and demanding of his children, although he was more affectionate with his grandchildren.

Nelson Mandela Images

Nelson Mandela
                      Mandela Images

Nelson Mandela Biography

Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, British South Africa. Later he studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg.

There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944.

After the National Party’s white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow.

Mandela was appointed President of the ANC’s Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People.

South African White Government repeatedly arrested him for seditious activities. Later Government unsuccessfully prosecuted him in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP).

Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government.

Government arrested and imprisoned him in 1962. He subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial.

Nelson Mandela Facts

Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison, and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990.

Later Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid. This resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became president.

Soon, leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasized reconciliation between the country’s racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses.

Economically, Mandela’s administration retained its predecessor’s liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services.

Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term, and in 1999 was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki.

Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.

He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, and described as the “Father of the Nation”.

Nelson Mandela Date of Death

On 5 December 2013, Nelson Mandela, the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, as well as the country’s first black head of state. He died at the age of 95 after suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection. He died at around 20:50 local time (UTC+2) at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family

Nelson Mandela Quotes

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.

Nelson Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

Nelson Mandela Autobiography

Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiography written by South African President Nelson Mandela, and first published in 1994 by Little Brown & Co. The book profiles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison.

Nelson Mandela Movie

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

Mandela and de Klerk (1997 TV Movie)

Winnie Mandela (2011)

Endgame (I) (2009)

Mandela (1996)

Invictus (2009)

Nelson Mandela Nobel Prize

Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk receiving their Nobel Peace Prize medals. Diplomas during the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall in Norway, 10 December 1993.

Nelson Mandela Speech

Mandela was already 45 years old when, on April 20, 1964, he gave the defining speech of the anti-Apartheid movement, from the dock of a Pretoria courtroom.

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