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The Man Who Changed South Africa

1074 words - 5 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. 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 ...view middle of the document...

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 26). He was sentenced to 5 years in prison. (Perry 26)
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 country. Mandela, only 45 years old at the time, was shipped to an island very similar to Alcatraz in California. It was called Robben Island. He was prisoner 466/64 and endured a cell that was only 8x7 feet in size. Here in this prison the improper treatment of different colored men was the worst Nelson Mandela had seen. He said “You have no idea, of the cruelty of man against man until you have been in a South African prison with black prisoners and white wardens” (Smolowe 26). Even with the roadblock of being in prison, the tenacious man still continued to protest from prison leading him to eternal time in prison for bidding to overthrow the government. However, the streets of South Africa were becoming, if not already as dangerous as the prisons. Once a life sentence was set on Mandela, a figure head of hope and equality, riots and massive protests broke out in the streets of

South Africa. The purpose of the protesters was to send a message to Nelson Mandela himself from the people which read “The walls of oppression are beginning to crumble. When the recognized leaders are in jail, there can...

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