The South African leader who 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner was released from jail after 27 years of imprisonment on 11 February 1990. From there he went on to become the first black President of South Africa and a globally acknowledged leader.
Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Thembu Tribe. He was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand. He was politically involved in the struggle for freedom and movement against apartheid from 1942.
Apartheid was a political and social system in South Africa during the era of White minority rule. It enforced racial discrimination against non-Whites, mainly focused on skin color and facial features.
Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 charged with four counts of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
Nelson Mandela was devoted to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.