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The Man Who Changed South Africa

1310 words - 6 pages

How could a man become president of such a strong country after being imprisoned for nearly three decades and being a minority race? His name was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He is a true inspiration to those who hear his story. Starting out as nothing more than a black man and ending as a person whose name is heard and recognized all over the world is something that just briefly explains Nelson Mandela’s life. As a true anti-apartheid Nelson Mandela did wonders for equality with much power even when imprisoned for nearly three decades (Smolowe 62). Nelson Mandela was a man admired by the world for his perseverance in his devotion to equality and becoming president after being incarcerated for 27 years meanwhile maintaining respect from the whole world.
Born on the 18th of July in the year 1918, Thembu of the Madiba clan accepted the first born son in the family by the name Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Having 13 brothers and sisters, Mandela seemed to be the trouble maker in the family. As Alex Perry states, “Rebellion was in his blood” (26). This trouble making characteristic seemed to be the result of his loathing toward the method of apartheid. Apartheid which translates to “apartness” was a system of racism in South Africa. Those who were black faced the worst of all the discrimination by not being allowed to own property rights in the majority of areas, denied the right to vote and have certain occupations. Most blacks weren’t even allowed matrimony to a white woman. These were the types of hardships that Nelson Mandela experienced and most of all, despised. As Mandela aged into maturity, he began to express his feeling on the government and their participation in apartheid (Smolowe 62; Perry 26).
As expected, Mandela quite often expressed his views through the act of protesting. Nelson Mandela joined what is known as the ANC or African National Congress to show his determination in the right of equality. While a member of the ANC, Mandel attended and sometimes even organized strikes for the equality of all people in South Africa. The ANC was soon outlawed in the 60’s which lead Mandela to another route. Once the ANC came to an end, Mandela decided to join a secret rebellious armed organization; very same to the ANC, at which one point in time he decided to lead. Sadly, this act of civil disobedience landed him in prison. Their hideaway was discovered in the early 60’s and inside the secret hideout implicating documents and equipment designed originally for bomb making was discovered. This led to a long trial for which Nelson Mandela told the court that his beliefs on equality and a free society “is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs to be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die” (Smolowe 62). He was sentenced to 5 years in prison (Perry 26).
Furthermore, many can assume the feelings of anger and disappointment most of South Africa faced when news of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment was leaked to the...

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