Into the history of the 20th century, we have different important people who have done a lot of things to defend the freedom in their countries. It´s clear that for José Naranjo, Nelson Mandela and his fight against apartheid have been inspiration and encouragement to millions of people worldwide, but particularly for African. He explains that, in a very interesting way, using the biographical information of Madiba.
Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918, in Transkei, on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, into the royal family of the Thembu. After his father, the principal councilor to the Acting Paramount Chief of Thembuland, died in 1927, young Mandela became the Chief’s foster son, and was groomed to become a ruling member of the tribe.
From an early age, Mandela learned the grim reality of apartheid, South Africa’s system of segregation and oppression. The injustices he witnessed and cases that were presented before the Chief’s court had a profound effect on the young man, who decided to become a lawyer. He moved to Johannesburg, where he finished his degree by correspondence. He eventually obtained his law degree from the University of South Africa, and entered the arena of politics by joining the African National Congress (ANC), a black nationalist movement, in 1942. the beginning of the change.
Mandela traveled throughout South Africa recruiting volunteers for a major civil-disobedience campaign. He was arrested and convicted for organizing the campaign, and was confined to Johannesburg for six months. He passed his bar exam, and soon founded South Africa’s first black law partnership with Tambo. Throughout the 1950s, Mandela was the victim of many forms of repression. He was banned, arrested and imprisoned.
This incredible man was one of the accused in the Treason Trial, which came at a huge cost to his legal practice and his political work. Following the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, the ANC was outlawed. Mandela left the country unlawfully and traveled abroad for several months. Upon his return, he was charged with illegal exit from the country and incitement to strike, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison with hard labor.
In 1963, several leaders of the ANC were arrested, and Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government with violence. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused ANC leaders, including Mandela, were sentenced to life in prison. years of imprisonment Mandela was sent to the notorious Robben Island Prison, a maximum security jail near Cape Town. His reputation grew during his years of imprisonment as he became viewed as South Africa’s most significant black leader, as well as a symbol for equal rights, justice and resistance against apartheid. While in prison, Mandela refused to compromise his political beliefs in order to obtain his freedom. He stated that “only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”
After being banned for decades, the first national conference of the ANC was held inside South Africa in 1991. Mandela was elected president of the ANC, while lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organization’s national chairperson. Mandela played a key role in the negotiations that would end apartheid in his country.
In 1993, he and South African President F.W. de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela accepted the honor on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much through the years in order to bring peace to the land.
In May 1994, at the age of 75, Mandela won the first all-race election in South Africa. He became the first elected black president of his country, effectively putting an end to the apartheid regime.
On December 10, 1996, Mandela signed the country’s new constitution, which included extensive human rights and anti-discrimination guarantees. Mandela stepped down as president in June 1999. Upon his retirement, he said he intended to enjoy the peace and freedom that took him a lifetime to achieve. He returned to his native Eastern Cape village to spend time with his third wife and grandchildren, and write his memoirs.
The last stage of his life is the most known. The release from prison, negotiation, elections, his arrival to the presidency of South Africa, the Nobel Peace Prize, his role as an African and global leader, his mediation in international conflicts … Surpassed his relationship with the controversial Winnie Mandela and will third marriage married Graça Machel, also came the day Madiba, an elderly man, wanted to rest. This almost a decade. “I did not call, as I call them,” said publicly, “I want to retire from retirement.”
He was an incredible man with a incomparable life. He fought to defend black people on his country and nowadays is one of the most famous and respectable person in the world.
- JOSÉ NARANJO (27.06.13) “Mandela, profundamente humano” from http://blogs.elpais.com/africa-no-es-un-pais/2013/06/mandela-profundamente-humano-.html
- NOBELPRIZE.ORG (18.11.2013) “Nelson Mandela – Biographical” from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1993/mandela-bio.html
- CNN.COM (18.11.2013) “Nelson Mandela fast facts” from http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/11/world/africa/nelson-mandela—fast-facts/index.html