On this day, July 18th, 1918 Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa; today marks his 100th birthday.
His story is greater than amazing; how does a man imprisoned for decades and decades
keep his mind and humanity and rise from the dirt and mud of a prison to go on and become the president
of his country?
Nelson Mandela like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for the freedom of his people and his country. Nelson Mandela like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very well educated man.
In 1942 Nelson Mandela earned his bachelor’s degree and soon afterwards he enrolled at the
University of Witwaterstrand to work towards a law degree.
During his time at law school he was introduced to many intellectuals of different types;
some in the Communist Party tried to recruit Nelson Mandela, but he refused.
In 1943 Nelson Mandela became a very active member of the ANC ( African National Congress)
the ANC had existed many years before Nelson Mandela became a member, however, when he came on board
a very large number of Black South Africans followed him.
Consider the fact, the ANC was founded in 1912 and in it’s entire history never have they had
a leader as important and powerful as Nelson Mandela.
In 1948 White South Africa’s “The National Party” came into power and they introduced a
system of government called Aparttheid.
Apartheid: is a system of government in South Africa that kept people of color third class
citizens under violent racist rule of law. The National Party ( White Racist Party)
had but one ambition; to limit the power of nonwhites socially, politically and economically through
Nelson Mandela fought this unfair racist system with vigor, courage and dignity.
June 26th 1955 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela a document was put forward by the ANC, this document was called The Freedom Charter.
THE FREEDOM CHARTER
“We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know that
South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim
authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.”
The South African government refused to accept the “Freedom Charter” and claimed falsely it was
written by the Communist Party.
Nelson Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life in prison and at his trial before he was sentenced he spoke truth to power.
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of African people.
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.
I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live in harmony
and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve.
But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
At the time of Nelson Mandela’s speech the ANC had a membership of only 10,000…but after
Nelson Mandela’s speech the membership rose to over 150,000.
On December 10th 1993 Nelson Mandela was awarded the Noble Peace Prize.
On April 27th 1994 Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president
of South Africa. After his presidency came to an end Nelson Mandela focused his attention and energy
to fight HIV/AIDS.
Recently (2016) in a world wide poll young people were asked who was the person they most admired,
and if you said Nelson Mandela,
you were right!