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Who is Nelson Mandela?

Who is Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela is considered a symbol of freedom and justice. Following the motto "The fight is my life", he successfully campaigned for the rights of black people in Africa and against apartheid. He died on 5 December 2013

In the fight against racial segregation in Africa, the civil rights activist Nelson Mandela put up with everything, including three decades in captivity. Freed again, he became South Africa's first black president and hero of a nation.

How Nelson Mandela Lived

On July 18, 1918, Rolihlahla (translated "troublemaker") was born near Mthatha, a city in South Africa. At the age of 19, he began to study. Since his university was English speaking, translated at that time also his birth name: Rolihlhla was from now on Nelson Mandela.

His interest has always been in politics. So he wanted to campaign for the rights of black Africans, who were at that time severely disadvantaged compared to the whites.

For members of his tribe was intended to marry as soon as possible. To avoid his own forced marriage, he fled to Johannesburg. His university had recently thrown him out for political activity anyway. In the new home he worked for a while as a security guard, boxer and lawyer. By distance learning he tried to obtain a degree in law, but could never achieve that because of his political activities.

How Nelson Mandela Changed the World

With the elections in 1948, a state of emergency entered South Africa. The so-called "apartheid" (translated as "segregation") prescribed a strict racial segregation. Thus, whites and blacks were not allowed to speak in public places. Blacks were exploited and used primarily for heavy work. In addition, they were not allowed to enter the city center without permission, let alone leave the city. Most did not even have access to water and electricity.

Mandela began to fight for the rights of black Africans as chairman of the African National Congress "ANC Youth League". As Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated in India, Mandela developed a concept of peaceful protest. His organization was banned by the state and Mandela imposed the rule not to leave the country.

In 1964, after breaking the rule, he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for his political activities. Only in 1990, after 26 years in prison, he was released with the help of African President Frederik de Klerk. Together they both won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their fight against racial segregation.

One year later Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa. He enforced new laws and put an end to apartheid. Whites and blacks were finally equal and Mandela her hero. Even after the end of his presidency in 1999, Mandela sat down with great zeal against political injustices, most recently in the Iraq war.

He died after months of care on December 5, 2013 from pneumonia.