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Nelson Mandela’s Success Story

A name to reckon with in the freedom movement, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela popularly known as Nelson Mandela. He became the first president of South Africa to be elected from 1994 to 1999. This occurred in  a fully representative democratic election. Nelson Mandela’s success story is a story every leader should read.

Before his presidency, Mandela fought as an activist and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe. This armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). In South Africa, he answered to the name Madiba

In his entire lifetime Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. He shared the prestigious award with F.W. deKlerk, South Africa’s last white president. Their combined efforts ended apartheid and brought about a peaceful transition to non-racial democracy in South Africa.

Early Life – Nelson Mandela’s success story

Born July 18, 1918 Mandela grew in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors. But at an early age learned about the ugly racial discrimination, Apartheid.  This emerged as one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived.

Nelson Mandela and wife Evelyn Mase

Nelson Mandela and wife Evelyn Mase


His early years were that of an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg. His slow political awakening led to the rebirth of a stagnant ANC.  

Mandela Gets Arrested-Nelson Mandela’s success story

Mandela  initially opposed to violence, but shifted after the massacre of unarmed black South Africans in 1962. At this time he began advocating acts of sabotage against the government. The same year he went to jail and following. More-so, this happened following the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. There he began his twenty-seven year stay in prison on Robben Island. The 400-year-old prison is now a museum.

During his imprisonment, Mandela became a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement among South Africa’s black population.  

Mandela rejected several government offers to allow him to leave prison on the condition that he will renounce violence. Following his release on 11 February 1990, Mandela instantly became an international hero.

Nelson Mandela Becomes President-Nelson Mandela’s success story

Three years after his release, South Africans of all races were allowed to vote for the first time in a national election. They selected Mandela as their president, giving him 62% of the vote.

Surprisingly, the same person who was once was a symbol of black resistance later eventually becomes the first black president.  

Nelson Mandela

As president from 1994 to 1999, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation. Mandela’s government received praises for its treatment of South Africa’s white minorities.

Mandela as President –Nelson Mandela’s success story

Mandela became the oldest elected President of South Africa when he took office at the age of 75 in 1994. He decided not to stand for a second term and retired in 1999. He handed power to Thabo Mbeki.

After his retirement, one of Mandela’s primary commitments was to fight against AIDS. 

He has expressed his support for the international ‘Make Poverty History’ movement of which the ONE Campaign is a part. He was a vocal supporter of SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest children organization. The organisation carters for abandoned children.

In July 2001 Mandela received a  diagnoses and treated for prostate cancer. He received treatment with a seven-week course of radiation. In June 2004, at the age of 85, Mandela announced that he would be retiring from public life. His health had been declining, and he wanted to enjoy more time with his family.

Consequently, the United Nations has pronounced July 18 as Mandela Day which is also his birthday. On this day individuals, communities and organizations donated 67 minutes to doing something for others, commemorating the 67 years that Nelson Mandela gave to the struggle for social justice.

Nelson Mandela brandishes Nobel Peace award

He maintained a low-profile during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. But the 93-year-old surprisingly,  made a rare public appearance during the closing ceremony. Here, he received a “rapturous reception.”

“Long Walk to Freedom”

‘Long Walk to Freedom’ is his moving and exhilarating autobiography. This book was equally destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. To millions of people around the world, Nelson Mandela stands, as no other living figure does.

Certainly Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders history has had. An international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He receives reverence everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.

The South African anti-apartheid Nelson Mandela would later die on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.

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