Photo Discover the life of Nelson Mandela, one of the Nobel Peace Prizes

Discover the life of Nelson Mandela, one of the Nobel Peace Prizes

Discover the life of Nelson Mandela, one of the Nobel Peace Prizes

Nelson Mandela is among the laureates of Nobel Peace Prize. He was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa. He died on 5 December 2013. Nelson Mandela was a political activist and a philanthropist who fought against racial discrimination or apartheid in his homeland in South Africa.

After being incarcerated for several years in the name of peace, he finally saved his country from discrimination and received the honorable title as Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Read more and discover the life of this peace defender.

Nelson Mandela's family

Mandela's family was a Xhosa, which is an ethnic group living in the southeastern and mid-southern regions of South Africa. His mother tongue is Xhosa. Henry Mandela, his father is from the Thembu royal family lineage in Mvezo. He was the Chief of the Madiba clan of Thembu people, who migrated from central Africa along the east coast, following the way from Zulu natal.

The Xhosa is divided into many sub-groups, and Thembu is one of them. After his father passed away, Nelson Mandela was raised by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo of the Thembuclan.

His different names

When he was a child, he was labeled Rolihlahla, meaning "troublemaker" in Xhosa. Years later, his clan named him Madiba. At school, he was nicknamed Nelson by his teacher because it was customary for teachers to give English names to their students. 

Nowadays, older men in South Africa still remember him as Madiba, to highlight his role as the father of the South Africa Nation. In fact, the nickname Madiba originates from a chief in the 18th century, and it was given to him as a sign of respect.

Nelson Mandela's educational background

  • His father wanted him to become a Privy Councilor or a head of state Advisor for the Thembu royal house. In 1933, Mandela attended the largest school for colored Africans at Clarke bury Methodist High School in Engcobo. 
  • In 1937, he attended Healdtown where most Thembu royalty attended. He became more interested in his native African culture despite the claim that British culture is more important.
  • In 1939, he graduated and got a law degree from the University of Fort Hare.
  • After he graduated, he worked as a lawyer in Johannesburg.

Mandela was a political activist

From 1942 to 1949, he continued his law education at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. Being the only black students at this University, he was subjected to racial discrimination. In 1944, he joined the ANC or Africa National Congress Youth League. He was greatly influenced by other political activists like Sisutu and Oliver Tambo.

He then contributed to the struggle for political self-determination in order to crack down on the apartheid policies. He devoted his time in politics. Therefore, he could not get his degree even though he had spent 7 years at the Witwatersrand University. He had become a fervent activist in the fight against apartheid. He presided over the Transvaal ANC from 1950 to 1954.

He was incarcerated for his struggle

In 1962, he was under arrest and incarcerated. He was charged with conspiring a coup d'état aiming at overthrowing the state. During his trial, Mandela said he had fought against both white and black domination in his homeland. After the trial, his sentence was life imprisonment. He served some of his sentences in Robben Island, some of his sentences were served in Pollsmoor Prison, and others were in Victor Verster Prison. 

Yet, he was acquitted after serving a total of 27 years in jail. This is exactly what the peace defender Prem Rawat said in his message of peace: "The greatest problem all around the world today, whether in America, Japan, China Russia, India or anywhere else in the world, is that people are not in peace. People want peace ."

Nelson Mandela, a peaceful activist and a Nobel Peace Prize winner

He could put an end to the apartheid after serving almost 30 years in prison. With neither violence nor wars, Mandela managed to lead a peaceful fight for the promotion of human rights around the world, just like what the ambassador of peace Prem Rawat has been doing.

The apartheid regime was abolished in 1993. Therefore, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with his colleague Frederik Willem de Klerk. At the age of 83, Nelson Mandela became a president of South Africa.

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