Nelson Mandela

By Rylee McKinstry

Early Days

Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. He was born in a small village named Mveso. He attended primary school and was given the name Nelson by his teacher because all school children needed to have a "Christian name". In 1937, Nelson Mandela started college at the age of 18. He studied for a bachelor art degree but didn't succeed as he was expelled for being part of a student protest. He wasn't going to give up and decided to attended the ANC meetings informally. The ANC stands for the African National Congress. He also became part of the Youth league.


Apartheid was from 1948 to 1998. It was terrible. The white people believed that they were better than the black people. They were cruel and awful to them as they treated them as slaves and animals. The black Africans were segregated from the white Afrikaans in every way. They weren't allowed to be around or have any contact with people of the other race. They were judged by their ethnicities and appearance, they weren't allowed to be judged by their accomplishments or talents. During apartheid the white people had dominance and ruled over the black people. They were allowed to do what ever they wanted to do with the black Africans and had no charges or punishments for it.


Nelson Mandela grew up in Apartheid and didn't enjoy it one bit! He was a freedom fighter who believed that violence was the way to stop it. In 1956, He was arrested for suspected terrorism and was sent to prison. He was sent to Robben Island where he spent 18 years in jail. It was a small island dedicated to keep black african prisoners. Robben Island is a 9k swim away from the mainland and the only way to get there was by helicopter or boat. He was put in political isolation as he couldn't discuss law with any of the other prisoners. Nelson Mandela's cell was very small that stretched 2m by 2m. His bed took up most of the space and he had a bucket, a bookshelf and a small desk where he studied. Mandela believed in the saying "it always seems impossible until it's done". Agains't the odds and the lack of opportunity, he kept trying and fulfilled his dream of being a lawyer.

ANC President

It wasn't until 1990 when Nelson Mandela was freed from jail! He went back to the meetings with the ANC and was given the role of president. Nelson Mandela led the main faction of the ANC with pride and made massive achievements, as finally the black African's were allowed to vote. He had some sort of charisma that everyone wanted and enjoyed being in his company. Shortly after that, in 1993, Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


In 1994, Nelson Mandela was the first ever black South African president! He led South Africa to democracy and made his country proud. He promised that after one term of presidency he would step down and thats exactly what he did. In 2001, Nelson Mandela was treated for prostate cancer and decided to retire from law and the ANC. In 2004, he retired from public life and said "don't call me, I will call you". He said that because he decided that he was done and didn't want to be around everyone. He had many grandchildren and he wanted to spend time with them as he knew that he wasn't going to live much longer.

An Amazing Man

In 2013, Nelson Mandela passed away. He was an amazing man. He did many great things that change humanity and many people are glad that he was the man he was.

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