Nelson Rlihlahla Mandela was born in 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa, and his activism and political leadership focused on the fight for racial equality in his country.
The 5 life lessons to learn from Nelson Mandela
From a young age, he experienced injustices and human rights abuses due to racial segregation, which is why he decided to study law at Fort Hara University and later join political life.
Mandela founded the Youth League of the African National Congress, which he previously affiliated with, and later became its general secretary.
He in turn commanded a massive campaign calling for civil disobedience against unjust laws. Following the massacre of peaceful black protesters in Sharpeville in 1960, his political activities were radicalized.
Apartheid prohibited interracial marriages, forced blacks to carry an identity document with their name, address and fingerprints, separated racial groups in different geographical areas, as well as in schools, hospitals, public transport … pic.twitter.com/S1QChjr0vQ
– Deciphering the War (@descifraguerra)
July 18, 2018
After eight years of his death, which occurred on December 5, 2013, we present to you five struggles that he left us as a legacy for future generations.
1 – Fight against Apartheid
Apartheid was a set of discriminatory norms against blacks and South African Indians and that only benefited and privileged the minority of the white population for more than 50 years.
In 1994, the African National Congress won the first South African multiracial and free elections by a large majority and Mandela became the first democratically elected president.
In his first year as head of state, Nelson Mandela participated in the debate of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), where he delivered a symbolic speech for history.
2 – Fight for human rights
Madiba, the name by which Mandela was also known in reference to his native tribe, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, precisely for his fight for human rights.
“I will continue to cherish the hope that in my own country and in my own region, on my continent and in the world, a group of leaders will emerge who will not allow anyone to be denied freedom, like us; that nobody becomes a refugee, like us; let no one be condemned to starve, as we are; that no one be deprived of their human dignity, like us, ”he stated in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 1998.
3 – Fight for freedom
Mandela began to get involved in the armed struggle, as he was one of the founders of La Lanza de la Nación, an armed group that carried out attacks against pro-apartheid military and politicians.
A judge blamed him for high treason and sentenced him to life in prison. After 27 years in prison, between 1962-1990, negotiations between the ANC and the Government and international pressure against apartheid achieved his release.
4 – Peaceful fight
After racism was legalized in South Africa, Mandela continued his political actions, as he was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) in the early 1940s and achieved renown in the organization.
Despite having clear objectives, and not underestimating the armed struggle, he helped organize peaceful resistance, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
In prison, he organized a civil disobedience movement that forced the authorities to improve conditions for inmates on Robben Island.
5- Fight for reconciliation
Mandela was convinced that a better life was possible in South Africa, something shared by the vast majority of South Africans. He believed in a multiracial nation with a diversity of cultures, religions, ethnicities, languages, and races.
For Madiba, reconciliation and rebuilding the nation needed to root out past conflict and injustice. “Since we achieved freedom, there can only be one division between us: between those who carry democracy in their hearts and those who don’t!” He stated in New Delhi, India, in 1995.
Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95 in Johannesburg. His funeral was attended by more than 100 leaders and heads of state from around the world.
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Learn about the social legacy that Nelson Mandela left to Humanity