Nelson Mandela, visionary of a free South Africa - The360 PlayBuzz

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  • Friday, November 29, 2019

    Nelson Mandela, visionary of a free South Africa

    Nelson Mandela, visionary of a free South Africa

    Long imprisoned, Nelson Mandela will eventually be released and become the first black president of South Africa. Died in 2013, he remains the symbol of the fight against apartheid and rights for all. 

    Born in 1918 in the mountainous Transkei region of South Africa, Mandela will pursue law studies at the University of Fort Hare. In 1944, he joined the African National Congress, a political party created to resist the racist policies of the South African-led government.

    Shortly after, this system will be transformed into apartheid and Mandela's fight will turn into a struggle for life. First president of post-apartheid South Africa, he retired after five years in office. Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95.

    Why is Mandela so famous?

    Nelson Mandela created the ANC's military wing known as "Umkhonto we Sizwe" ("Spearhead of the Nation") to attack the ruling government and its anti-black policies. Accused of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government in 1964, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island for 27 years. Finally released in 1990, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.

    How did Nelson Mandela survive his long time in prison?

    Mandela will inspire a generation because although imprisoned for a long time between four walls, his humanity and his vision of the world will transcend these same walls. The decades spent in prison have not broken it but have only strengthened its emblematic role in the struggle for the freedom of its nation. Various anti-apartheid anthems have called for the release of Nelson Mandela. Among them are Johnny Clegg and Savuka's "Asimbonanga" (which translates as "we have not seen").

    A Nobel Prize

    Despite her years of deprivation and imprisonment, Mandela has never lost sight of her vision of a peaceful and more equal society in South Africa. He will not forget his role in the service of his country. He believed in a democratic nation with the right to vote for all. He led South Africa for four years but unlike many other African presidents, he knew when to retire, leaving the people free to choose the leader who would succeed him in his country.

    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with the then President of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk. De Klerk had previously lifted the ban on the ANC and released Mandela from prison. Together, they worked to free South Africa from its apartheid regime.

    Famous quotes from Mandela

    At his trial in 1964: "I fought against white domination and fought against black domination, I cherished the ideal of a free and democratic society in which all people will live together in harmony and with an equal opportunity, it's an ideal that I hope to live and see realized, but my Lord, if I have to, is an ideal for which I'm ready to die."

    "It always seems impossible until it's done."

    "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."

    "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it: the brave is not the one who is not afraid, but the one who conquers that fear."

    What is Nelson Mandela's legacy?

    To young South Africans, Mandela leaves a legacy of selflessness and unwavering commitment to the struggle for human rights for all. His vision of a South Africa where blacks and whites could live equal, without being marginalized may have failed, but his presidency has managed to put ideology, however unrealistic, on the political table.

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