Nelson Mandela was born on Muezu, near Mthalta in the Transkei, then one of the ‘homeland’, now part of Eastern Cape in South Africa, on 18th July 1918. He is a man of many names. He was originally named Rolihlahla Dalibhunga, but was given the English name Nelson on this first day to school. He brought up at the Thembu royal court; he studied law at the university college of Fort Hare, Unisa (South Africa’s correspondence university) and the University of Witwatersrand University, but he eventually left without graduation.
Nelson joined the African National Congress in 1943, founding the AVC youth league, with Oliver Tambo and Walter sisulu, the following year. In 1952, he becomes one of the architects of the youth League’s campaign for the Defiance of unjust laws, a programme of mass civil disobedience. His efforts earned him his first suspended conviction under the suppression of communism act.
Mandela has received more than two hundred and fifty awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel peace prize in 1993.
Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress and its armed wing Umkhorto we Sizwe. He spent 27 years in prison, much of it in a cell on Robin Island the rest of the time he spent in polls moor Prison, on convictions for crimes that include sabotage committed while he spearheaded the struggle against apartheid.
Shortly before 21:00 local time(19:00 his GMT) Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg on 6th December 2013 at the age of 95 at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection, plunging his nation and the world into mourning for a man hailed by global leaders as a moral giant.
We must salute such a great personality. May his soul rest in peace.