Nelson Mandela’s life is full of hardship and suffering, but those who persist and never give up are the ones who accomplish their task. One such person was Nelson Mandela who was born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South Africa.
Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. He also fought tirelessly against apartheid, a policy, or a system of segregation or discrimination on different races in South Africa. In South Africa, there was no sort of change for black equality so Mandela decided to take action against it. “For his anti-apartheid actions which were against the law, Mandela was sentenced to twenty years behind bars”(“Nelson Mandela”, Gale). Mandela passed away in 2013 at the age of ninety-five due to health problems. Mandela is one of the most important human activists because he fought for the rights of colored people and helped the less fortunate.
Nelson Mandela is one of the most significant men ever because he fought for black rights. Nelson Mandela started becoming interested in politics at a young age and had always wanted to end Black discrimination in South Africa, so he “became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress in 1942″(“Nelson Mandela”, Biography). The goal of Mandela during the anti-apartheid movement was to give millions of colored people the chance to fight for their equality and freedom from strict and unfair rules. Mandela felt that it was unfair that many Africans were getting treated unfairly, so he wanted to take action to change it.
For twenty years, Nelson Mandela directed peaceful, non-violent protest against the South African government and its racist policies. By fighting against the government, Nelson Mandela was charged and arrested and “spent 27 years in prison, from November 1962 until February 1990″(“Nelson Mandela”, Biography).
Mandela knew that one of the risks of fighting for the freedom of African Americans was being sentenced to long a term in prison. But his will to fight for black rights was far more important. Even when Mandela was in jail, he used his position to further fight for the cause he believed in: “In February 1985 South African president P. W. Botha offered to free Mandela but Mandela refused, saying that the government must first dismantle apartheid” (“10 Major Accomplishment”). When Mandela told the President of South Africa to end apartheid, this put lots of pressure on the president and so for a couple of years the government and Nelson Mandela had talks, but no deal was made. It was not until 1990 when P.W. Botha was died of a stroke and was replaced by President de Klerk. Thus, Mandela was released five years later.
After Mandela was released, he embarked on an international tour to encourage foreign countries to not reduce their pressure on the South African government for constitutional improvement. In a series of negotiations from 1990 to 1993 between Mandela and President de Klerk, the apartheid was dismantled and brought to an end.
In addition to helping fight for equal rights, Nelson Mandela gave many people in need opportunities to the right of education, a sense of well being, and enjoyment of life. As president of South Africa from 1994-1999, Mandela established many rules that benefited colored people. For instance, one of them was that “he introduced numerous social and economic programs designed to improve the living standards of South Africa’s black population” (“Nelson Mandela”, History).
One of the problems that many Africans had in South Africa was the lack of ability to live a pleasurable and comfortable life. Mandela introduced The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which invested in human rights under apartheid and introduced better housing, education, and economic development which was designed to improve the lives of the country’s Black community. However, Mandela decided not to run for the second term of presidency, thus retired from politics.
However, Mandela was still a busy man because “he and wife Graca Machel co-founded The Elders, a group of world leaders aiming to work both publicly and privately to find solutions to some of the world’s toughest issues” (Nelson Mandela”, Biography). After Nelson Mandela found the organization The Elders, he spread it all around the world from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The impact the Elders had included promoting peace and equality for women, putting an end to atrocities, supporting initiatives to address humanitarian crises and avocation for democracy.
One of Mandela’s passions was education. After Mandela decided to run for president, “he put most of his energy into children and education” (Pandor). One of the many problems South Africa had was the lack of proper education like schools. Mandela wanted to change that by adding more schools in rural and poor places. Nelson Mandela did not just build schools to give people education, but he felt that there was a meaning to education. Mandela saw equality of opportunity through education as a key to emancipation and that education should never be taken for granted.
Nelson Mandela devoted his life to fighting for equal rights for Black Africans and helped the people who in need. Nelson Mandela ended public discrimination of Blacks in South Africa by his strong commitment to fighting for the freedoms of Africans and he opened many opportunities for the people who were less fortunate. Nelson Mandela was the definition of hard work. He fought time and time to help others the best he could. Not only did Mandela fight for equal rights, but he influenced many races, genders, and colors to come together to be united.
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