The life of Nelson Mandela is without a doubt a fascinating one. Fewer men in history have done so much in the name of equality, freedom and peace. Nearly every nation in the world is interested in the biography of Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela biography is sought everywhere. This is a man who transcends all languages. His biography exists virtually everywhere and in every language. He was, and is, a powerful and peaceful man. So where does the Nelson Mandela story begin?
Watch an informative overview of his life:
In the small village of Mvezo , in the Transkien territories of South Africa, the Nelson Mandela bio began on July 18, 1918. He was not born with the name Nelson, but with his African name Rolihlahla , which literally means –pulling the branch of a tree, or in it’s colloquial sense ‘troublemaker’ ( It seems Rohlihlahla Nelson Mandela certainly lived up to his given name, but in the best of ways).
No Nelson Mandela history would be complete without knowing who his parents were. His father was Henry Mgadla Mandela. Mgadla was one of the main councillors to the acting chief of the Thembu tribe. The Mandela name itself comes from one of the royal’s in the Thembu tribe on Nelson’s grandfather’s side. Due to his grandmother’s position though, that branch of the family was unable to succeed the throne. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni. She was Mgadla’s third wife. (Interestingly the famous Nelson Mandela has also had three wives).
Rohlihlahla’s father died when the boy was nine years old (from tuberculosis). The Mandela biography continues with the young Mandela coming under the guardianship of Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who was regent and an heir to the Thembu throne.
Rohlihlahla Mandela was the first of his father’s family to receive formal schooling. It was his school teacher Miss Mdingane who gave him the English name Nelson.
Nelson Mandela then went on to finish his Junior Certificate from a Wesleyan school and on to college where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts. Engaging in a boycott against university policies at the Fort Hare he was essentially kicked out and the Nelson Mandela story moved on.
Rejecting an arranged marriage from his guardian (regent Jongintaba) Manela Rohililaha Nelson escaped to Johannesburg. He completed his degree through correspondence and eventually became involved in the ANC (African National Council). From there it seems there was no looking back.
Once he became involved in the ANC there was no looking back in the Nelson Mandela life. Mandela and those who were with him took many actions against the injustice of apartheid. A system where one’s color discriminated so totally against the basic laws of freedom was unthinkable (just as slavery) and yet it was a reality.
The Nelson Mandela bio continues with him becoming the leader of the African National Councils Umkhonto weSiswe – the armed wing. They organized protests and sabotages to bring to light the inequality that was happening throughout South Africa. While Mandela had worked hard to bring about understanding and change through peaceful methods, military and government targets were bombed (always with no intention of physical harm) to get the message across.
In 1962 Nelson Mandela was arrested and sent to prison. Many other ANC leaders were also arrested at this time. The biography of Nelson Mandela has much to show of the work he carried out during his imprisonment. He never gave up the struggle. He wrote many books and his main place of imprisonment came to be known as a place of learning. A man of peace, the Nelson Mandela life involves nearly 27 years of imprisonment. Songs have been written, and praises sung. The call for freedom was heard around the world.
Under President de Klerk, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison in 1990. He returned as the leader of the ANC and fought on for freedom. Along with deKlerk he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Nelson Mandela 1994 is elected president of South Africa; A triumph for equality and a triumph for peace. The world rejoiced in finally seeing a wrong come right. This does not mean that there is total equality and peace in South Africa yet. What it does mean is that one man who stands firm can make a difference for millions. The Nelson Mandela story is one of hope for all mankind.