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Mandela: A Life Devoted To Change And Freedom

2375 words - 10 pages

In order to achieve freedom, equality, and social justice, how much is a person willing to sacrifice? During the early 1900s, Britain colonized four colonies in Africa. Through a slow process between 1902 and 1910, the four colonies became a unified union. By May 1910, Britain passed the South Africa Act and the four colonies became one independent colony. It was formally named the Union of South Africa. While white South Africans rejoiced, black South Africans did not see hope in their future. Although black South Africans made up two-thirds of the population, the South African Parliament was controlled by extremist Afrikaners – people who favored white supremacy. Race and skin color determined one’s fate and destiny. White people were privileged with more opportunities and better treatment. After decades, South Africa’s segregation worsened. Freedom was limited for South Africans. By 1948, a fully structured system of segregation was established in South Africa, it was called apartheid. The new system led to greater oppression on black South Africans, which ended after a long and tiring movement led by a man named Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa. Mandela’s name, Rolihlahla, perfectly defined Mandela’s personality and his destiny. His name means pulling the branch of a tree, a slang meaning troublemaker. When he was seven, his devout Christian parents sent Mandela to a local Methodist school. As a baptized Methodist, Mandela was given an English forename of “Nelson” by his teacher. Since then, he adopted the name “Nelson,” and became known as Nelson Mandela. During Mandela’s era, South Africa was governed by the apartheid government of the national party. Whites indirectly ruled the country and blacks did not have authority in the government. Since he was a child, he sensed the unfair treatment of the apartheid system that existed in South Africa. With full determination to bring the apartheid system to an end, Mandela went through years of suffering. In order to fight for his beliefs, Mandela sacrificed everything – his family, his time, and his freedom. Nelson Mandela dedicated his lifetime work to empower all Africans. Through writings; his speeches, embedded with juxtaposition, powered with pathos, and employed with metaphors to call for an action to end apartheid, racial inequalities, economic inequalities.
Since Mandela was young, he heard the elder’s stories of his ancestor’s valor during the wars of resistance and how Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through non-violence. Since then, he dreamed of making his own contribution to South Africa. Since that moment, Mandela devoted his life to fight against apartheid and give blacks the opportunity to vote by using non-violence. In 1944, Mandela officially joined the African National Congress and helped establish the African National Congress Youth League. In 1963, along with ten other African...

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