- Mandela Died After Months of Prolonged Illness:
The 95-year-old former president died after suffering from lung infection for the past few months. He was admitted in the hospital after his chronic lung infection. He had been vulnerable to respiratory problems like tuberculosis during 27 years of imprisonment. He also survived cancer previously having been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001. He had not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.
During an interview in 1994, Mandela gave his opinion on death:
Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity
2.Mandela Was the Son of a Village Chief
He was born in a small village where he began herding sheep and cattle. Although his African name was Rolihalahla his school teacher gave him his christian name “Nelson”. Mandela was the son of a chief and had access to the best education available .Mandela would say later in his life that he inherited his father’s “proud rebelliousness” and “stubborn sense of fairness”.
3. He Became Politically Active While Studying Law
Mandela studied law at the University of Fort Hare and later at the University of Witwatersrand. Here he got involved with the African National Congress (ANC), a multi-racial nationalist movement trying to bring about political change in South Africa. Mandela became one of the chief organizers of the ANC and drafted the “Freedom Charter”, a cause for racial equality.
4. Mandela Supported Armed Struggle After Peaceful Protests Were Met With Violence
In 1960s, protests for equality were met with brutal government crackdown. During the protest there were shot by police, killing 69 people. In response, the white-controlled government imposed martial law. All opposition was banned and thousands were detained. It was in 1961 when Mandela abandoned his peaceful track and went underground to start armed struggle
5. Mandela Was Imprisoned for 27 Years
In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment .Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. As a black prisonner, Mandela received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. However he was able to earn a Bachelor of Law degree through a University of London correspondence program. Mandela continued to be such a potent symbol of black.
6. Mandela Rejected Offers of Freedom While In Jail
In 1982, Mandela and other ANC leaders were moved to Pollsmoor Prison, because they dint want any contact between them and the South African government. In 1985, President P.W. Botha offered Mandela’s release in exchange for renouncing armed struggle; the prisoner flatly rejected the offer. With increasing international pressure for his release, the government participated in several talks with Mandela over the years, but no deal was made. Mandela was finally a free man at the age of 71.
7. He Was Married 3 Times and Had 6 Children
Mandela has been married three times. He was married to Evelyn Ntoko Mase from 1944 to 1957. The couple had four children together: Madiba Thembekile, Makgatho, Makaziwe and Maki. He and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela were married from 1958 to 1996; they had two daughters together, Zenani and Zindziswa. By the time Nelson became president they had been separated for two years. In 1998, Mandela married Graça Machel — a Mozambicam politician and humanitarian.
8. Mandela Was Elected as the First Black President of South Africa
In the mid-1980s, South Africa seemed destined for a future of unending low-level turmoil. Then, no less than Nelson Mandela, from behind bars, began to find common ground with a new generation of realists within the ruling camp. First free and democratic election and became the country’s first black president.
9. He Promoted Reconciliation Between Whites and Blacks
Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to black majority rule. He used the nation’s enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks, encouraging black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. In 1995, South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the integrated country.
10. Mandela Was Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and Became a World Icon
In 1993, Mandela and President de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward dismantling apartheid. Due in no small part to their work, negotiations between black and white South Africans prevailed.