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Nelson Mandela (18.07.1918 - 05.12.2013) - President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela was one of the most famous activists in the struggle for human rights and the 8th President of South Africa. For his beliefs he spent over 25 years in prison. The future leader was born in a small village in the suburbs of Umtata on July 18, 1918. His father for a while was the ruler of the village, however the problems with colonists made him relocate. At the same time he managed to reserve a place at the Council.

His mothers name was Nkedama and she was the third wife in the family. Nelsons real name was Holila. However on the first day of school he was renamed by his teacher and became Nelson. It was habitual for that time to give African children English names. His father died when he was only nine and Nelson inherited his place at the Council. At the age of 16, according to the tribal traditions, he went through a rite of initiation and only after that entered the college. In 1937 he entered the University of Fort Beaufort where almost all representatives of Tembu dynasty studied.

In 1940 he was expelled for participating at the students strike. The same year he got the job in Johannesburg. From 1943 to 1948 he studied at the Law School, but without receiving the degree. He obtained Bachelor of Law title only in 1989. Interestingly enough, the future South African leader, while in prison, studied at the university by correspondence. He was a highly-educated man. After joining the Youth League in 1944, he soon became one of its leaders. During the 1950s he was repeatedly arrested by the police for participating in strikes against human apartheid.

Soon his public speeches were banned and Mandela himself was convicted of treason. However, by 1961 he was cleared. Three years later he was imprisoned. Perhaps, he was the only man in the world who got so much recognition and fame during his imprisonment. He spent eighteen years behind the bars on the island of Robon and in 1982 was sent to the Cape Town prison. Six years later he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to hospital. However he refused to get freedom in exchange for his political views betrayal.

Mandela was finally released in 1990. A year later he again took control of ANC - the Youth League. Two years later he was awarded by the Nobel Prize for his courageous actions sent to stop the Apartheid in Africa. 1994 was the turning point in his public career, as he became the President of his own country. What else could be more honorable! The first thing that he did was the new constitution which guaranteed equal right for all South Africans regardless their race, nation, gender of religion. Even after having resigned from presidency he led an active public life.

During his life N. Mandela wrote several books and was awarded by the governments of many countries. He was married three times and had many children, however not all of them are alive. The great leader died at the age of ninety-five. One of his daughters at the moment works as the South African ambassador in Argentina.



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