Nelson Mandela , also known as Madiba , has to his credit being the first president of South Africa to be democratically elected by universal suffrage. He received more than 250 awards at all levels, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize . Nelson Mandela’s life is a great example of sacrifice and the search for justice and fairness. He is one of the most charismatic leaders that ever lived.
He is one of the most important figures in the fight for racial equality. She believed in her people. His citizens did the same to him, to achieve equality in the most turbulent period in South African history . A born leader who, even spending 27 years in prison , maintained his commitment to equality and, what is more difficult to understand, gave priority to the reconciliation of the country.
Already in his early days as a lawyer, Mandela and his partner Oliver Tambo ran a law firm that provided low-cost legal advice to many blacks who could not otherwise have legal representation.
Mandela, understood that the priority was the reconciliation of South Africa. This was immersed in continuous disputes for the cause known as Apartheid. This gave full pleasures to the white men of the country to rule the black inhabitants.
Mandela fought for reconciliation among the South African people. After spending 27 years in prison, he understood that the priority was the reconciliation of South Africa.
Apartheid consisted of the division of racial groups in order to promote so-called “development”. This movement, led by the white race, established various laws that covered social aspects. A racial classification was made according to appearance, social acceptance or ancestry. Some of the laws that Apartheid promoted did nothing more than increase the racial climate in the area:
- Blacks could not hold positions in government. Nor could they vote except in a few isolated elections for segregated institutions.
- Blacks couldn’t open businesses. Nor could they practice professional practices within the areas specifically assigned for whites.
- Public transportation was totally segregated. So much in trains, buses, airplanes, or even the taxis of the cities.
- Blacks were not allowed to enter areas designated for the white population. The only option was for them to have a pass issued by the police.
- Public buildings such as courthouses or post offices, had different accesses for blacks and whites.
The protests of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues against racial differences were more and more promoted. In addition, they were not only for the black inhabitants but for other countries that promoted an equity in democratic rights. Mandela began to be seen as a problem for the South African government. For this, he was sentenced to 27 years in jail. Most of these were confined in Robben Island Prison .
In prison, he and others did forced labor in a lime quarry. The prison conditions were very harsh. Prisoners were segregated by race and blacks received fewer rations. Political prisoners were separated from common criminals and had fewer privileges. Mandela, as a prisoner in the lowest group in the rankings, was only allowed one visit and one letter every six months.
While in prison his reputation grew and he became known as the most important black leader in South Africa . Mandela became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid inside and outside the country, a legendary figure who represented the lack of freedom of all South African black men.
After his release on February 11, 1990, Mandela led his party in negotiations for a multiracial democracy in South Africa, which was achieved in 1994 with the first democratic elections by universal suffrage. Mandela won the elections and was president from 1994 to 1999, frequently prioritizing his reconciliation.
The best phrases of Nelson Mandela
- If I had the time in my hands I would do the same again. The same as any man who dares to call himself a man would do.
- Death is inevitable. When a man has done what he considers his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe that I have made that effort and that therefore I will sleep for eternity.
- I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave is not the one who does not feel fear, but the one who conquers that fear.
- Throughout my life I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought white domination, and I have fought black domination. I have sought the ideal of a free and democratic society, in which all people live in harmony.
- People have to learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love, love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
- To be free it is not only necessary to shed one’s own chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- There is no easy path to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to go through the valley of the shadow of death over and over again before reaching the top of the mountain of our dreams.
- I have never considered myself a man as my superior, neither in my life outside, nor in prison.
- I didn’t have a specific belief, except that our cause was just, it was very strong and that it was gaining more and more support.
- True leaders must be willing to sacrifice everything for the freedom of their people.
- After climbing a large hill, one finds only that there are many more hills to climb.
- Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.
- Let the freedom rule. The sun never sets on such glorious human achievement.
Nelson Mandela has been and always will be a benchmark for oppressed countries and people. A person who never understood that there was another movement to achieve equality than reconciliation; He fought for long years to achieve what his people hoped for in a democratic way and without using violence. Nelson Mandela’s life must be able to be shared by all of us to understand that first of all what matters are people.