“The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall,” this was the beautiful words of Nelson Mandela who lived a life of service. The motivation behind his lifestyle was the vision to liberate the people of South Africa from the apartheid regime where racial discrimination was the order of the day.
Our focus today is going to be beamed on Nelson Mandela. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African activist and politician born to the Madiba Clan in Mvezo village. His father, Gadla Henry Mphakwayiswa, was an adviser to the acting king of the Thembu people, and he became the Jogintaba at the renowned palace of Mqhekezweni. His father died of tuberculosis while he was 13 years old. The young Nelson grew up hearing his ancestral braveness during wars of resistance, and because of the foretold stories, he vowed to fight for the peoples’ freedom.
He began to face struggles upon his admission to the University of College of Fort Hare and was expelled due to his participation in a student protest. His return to the place of Mqhekezweni wasn’t welcomed by the King who threatened to marry wives for him if he didn’t complete his education. This made him relocate to Johannesburg where he worked as a mine security officer and published his articles through Witkin, Eidelman, and Sidelsky firm of attorneys.
Great leaders in the past faced persecution from several angles due to their daring to be different from the status quo.
He began to make waves upon his entry into South African politics after joining the African National Congress in 1944. His zeal aided him to come up with the formation and creation of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). His loyalty to his ideology of a radical approach in favor of majority policy helped him become famous and his adoption of “the Programme of Action in 1949. He became more prominent when he was picked to serve as the National Volunteer-in-Chief of Defiance Campaign along with Maulvi Cachalia as the deputy. He gained notoriety after he was jailed for nine months of hard labor and two-year suspension for disobedience against unjust law.
His eureka moment began when he and his friend Oliver Tambo established the first black law firm in South Africa, 1952. He became the talk of the town again after he was arrested in 1962 for leaving the country without a permit and mobilizing people for strike. After years of sickness while in the prison, he and other comrades were released from prison after ANC was unbanned. He later held talks to end the apartheid government and was elected ANC president due to Oliver Thambo constant sickness.
On the 10th of May, 1994, he was sworn-in as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. He became a hero of democracy in South Africa after stepping down as a one-time President. After then, he focused on his Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Nelson Mandela Foundation, and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation where he continued to give back to humanity.
He remained immortal in the minds of the South Africans due to his resilience against apartheid. He showed an example that we can live in a world free of racism as he never hated white people as he knew that people aren’t their race. Nelson Mandela’s legacy asa true advocate of democracy will be evergreen.