Nelson Mandela, a man recognized worldwide, was a human rights activist leader among other things. He believed in equality and peace for all. He fought for that belief in South Africa for which he undeniably sacrificed his life to. A figure of international peacemaking, he’s a man of tremendous accomplishments. How he achieved these accomplishments is astounding and it’s what he’s remarkably known. Striving for fairness and democracy in a nation that has been pierced for years by Apartheid seemed impossible for blacks. Mr. Mandela however, was the exception to that perception. His immense contribution to South Africa and his people ultimately resulted in the greatest legacy of South African history. Despite the turmoil and resistance he was facing he still came out victorious becoming the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. Nelson Mandela whose birth name translated as “troublemaker” certainly did not fit a man whose dream and goal was to promote peace among all men, which he vowed never to give up on, even when he was faced with extreme adversity.
Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela at Mvezo in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. He is the son of Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Henry Mgadla Mandela. His father was a chief and a counselor to the high chief of the Thembu and a member of the Madiba clan. In Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, he mentions that his name, given to him by his father, “"Rolihlahla" in the Xhosa language literally means "pulling the branch of a tree," but more commonly translates as "troublemaker."” According to the Merriam Webster dictionary a troublemaker is one that habitually causes difficulty or problems, especially by inciting others to defy those in authority; although this word has a negative connotation Mandela gave it new meaning by turning what was meant for bad to good. He did incite others to stand against the unfair treatment blacks were facing under white minority rule in South Africa. Defying their authority of which he did peacefully harmed no one rather it paved a way for the eventual liberation of his unjustly oppressed people. His peaceful yet tenacious personality stems from his upbringing which has had a great influence in shaping the person he would be in his later years. Mandela grew up in Mvezo a small village where he resided with his mother and father. They belonged to the Xhosa tribe, a group of people Mandela referred to as
proud and patrilineal people with an expressive and euphonious language and an abiding belief in the importance of laws, education, and courtesy. Xhosa society was a balanced and harmonious social order in which every individual knew his or her place.
Mandela was brought up entrenched in a society where people value respect, kind words, and equality. It was his rearing that shaped his personality. Mandela also believed that much of who he was is a passing from father to son. He recounts his...