Nelson Mandela – The Hero of South Africa


“I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself “– Nelson Mandela


Ask a kid in Africa for its synonym. The first answer he gives is “Nelson Mandela”. Perhaps no other country or continent on this earth has a substitute name, but Africa has. It is supported by keywords apartheid, black, etc. but against the cause.  Rolihlala Mandela was born on July 18, 1918.


Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (Image source: Wikipedia)

Rolihlala means “Pulling down the branch of a tree” and Mandela did it, he did not pull, instead pushed all the evil out of the country. He was given the name “Nelson” after his primary education. His active public life started when he was in University College of hare forte where he was elected for the Students Representative Counsel. Later he was suspended from the college as he was taking part in protest boycott. He completed BA in 1942, and later with a keen interest in public affairs he joined the African National Congress, ANC.


Active Young days:

This was an important phase of his timeline. He married Evelyn Mase. While all these developments were taking place, there was a sudden outburst of world war in 1944. African movement also played a significant role in this war. Mandela along with his Co mates played a vital role in bringing the change in the ANC. They were all responsible for transforming this movement into a radical mass movement. They realized these methods of movements were not finding its way, they have decided to take it on a radical path. The fresh blood of Africa formed a group and founded African national Congress Youth League in September 1944. It took no time for Mandela to become its National Secretary. It was in 1948 he was conferred with the post.


Revolt & Non-cooperation:

It was after the victory of National party in 1948 All-White election, who won on the basis of apartheid, the highly intensified ANCYL made its eye red on national Party. They took Boycott, Non-Cooperation, strike, civil disobedience as their weapons. They framed the ANC policy on the same points. By 1952 Mandela was the president of Youth league and was set to fight against the defiant unjust laws framed by the recently won party. Later he was elected as the National Volunteer in Chief. He took all responsibility of spreading a word against the apartheid. He went to the grass root level to educate the rural Africans about the injustice being done to them. This was deeply considered a crime by the ruling party and he was imprisoned for the same, under some of the Violation Acts prevailing. Meanwhile during the time of restrictions and imprisonment Mandela completed his attorney examinations and opened a practice in Johannesburg.


During the early 50’s Nelson Mandela played a key role in the Western areas removal, Bantu education, populating freedom charter. It was during his 50’s Mandela faced number of trials, and was put behind the bars for many times. He was one among the 156 accused for the mammoth treason Trial. And he was detained for no reason. It found during the 1960’s Mandela a way to share the world his views and thus he left Africa. He spoke in almost all the neighbouring countries, and gave public speeches. He gained support from many leaders of the world. Later on his arrival in Africa he was arrested for illegally leaving the country.


Beautiful lines spoken by Mandela during his trial against the apartheid. He ended in these words: I have fought against white domination and black domination. I have cherished the ideal of democratic and free society I which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”


Final Days of Politics:

Put together Nelson Mandela was in prison for about 27 years. In 1982 he was shifted to pollosmoor prison. In 1985, Mandela had undergone prostate surgery. Later in 1988 he was moved to victor prison where he spent his last 14 months of imprisonment. These prison life and public life shaped Mandela into one of the best known leaders in this world. He was the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. In spite of being suppressed by the white, Mandela with his supporters could resist their ill governance. In 1999 he stepped down as the one time president of democratic Africa.


His great works in transforming Africa are highly inspirational. His strong will and dedicated service to the nation was and is always a point to be proud of.