Nelson Mandela

Maria Aurich

Childhood

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, into a royal family of the Xhosa-speaking Thembu tribe in the South African village of Mvezo, where his father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa (c. 1880-1928), served as chief. His mother, Nosekeni Fanny, was the third of Mphakanyiswa’s four wives, who together bore him nine daughters and four sons.

Spouse and children

Nelson Mandela is the father of 6 children himself. He fathered four children from his first marriage to Evelyn Mase and 2 children with his second wife Winnie Madikizela.

Nelson Mandela kids had to be something a bit special, and some of them never really got to see their father at all as he was in prison for most of their lives. Both of Mandela’s daughters from his first marriage were named Makazawie. The eldest died at nine months and the next Makazawie was named in her honor. Madiba Thembikile (Thembi) was killed in a car crash when he was 25 (1969) Nelson Mandela was in prison at the time and was not permitted to attend his child’s funeral. Makgatho died of AIDS in 2005.

Why is Nelson Mandela famous?

First black President of South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison for trying to overthrow the pro-apartheid government. After he left prison, he worked to achieve human rights and a better future for everyone in South Africa.

fun facts

This man that changed the world grew up in a tiny village andwas the first member of his family to attend school.


In 1952, Mandela and Oliver Tambo set up South Africa's first black-run law firm.


Mandela was a master of disguise and a genius at evading arrest.


In prison, he was highly skilled at secretly passing notes.


He worked as hard to make peace as he did to bring down Apartheid.