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Nelson Mandela Biography, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 306

Essay

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa. Named Rolihlahla Mandela by his parents, he was the first person in his family to attend school. It was his teacher at the school who gave him a new first name, Nelson. In 1939, he enrolled at the country’s most prestigious university, the University College of Fort Hare and started preparing for a career in civil service. Mandela was elected to Student Representative Council (SRC) in his second year but resigned in support of fellow students who were demanding better food and more power for the SRC. His action infuriated a university official who expelled him from the university. In early 1940s, Mandela also became involved in the anti-apartheid movement and joined the African National Congress in 1942 (Biography).

In 1951, Mandela became the president of the Youth League in 1951 which had been created by a newly appointed RNC’s President, Walter Sisulu. Mandela was first arrested in 1952 for ANC’s opposition to ANC protest activities. In 1956, he was arrested again for resisting “Pass Laws” which limited free movement of Blacks within the country. He was later charged with treason and arrested again in 1962 for leaving South Africa illegally. His sentence of five years was later changed to life sentence and he spent 27 years in prison. He finally walked out free on February 11, 1990. His time in jail gave him a martyr status in South Africa and around the world. Mandela would become the first black president of South Africa in 1994 as a result of first free elections open to all South African citizens. For his contributions to peace, Mandela won the Noble Prize award in 1993 (Encyclopedia of World Biography).

References

Biography. Nelson Mandela – Biography. 15 August 2012 <http://www.biography.com/people/nelson-mandela-9397017?page=1>.

Encyclopedia of World Biography. Nelson Mandela Biography. 15 August 2012 <http://www.notablebiographies.com/Lo-Ma/Mandela-Nelson.html#b>.

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