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Remembering Nelson Mandela

Post by: Kabita

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”


Last week, the world reminisced and celebrated the birthday of South-African writer, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, philanthropist and former President of South Africa, Dr. Nelson Mandela. He was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo in Umtata in Cape Province. He was named Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He grew up with his mother’ sisters in his mother’s village. He was sent to a Methodist school where he was christened to Nelson by his teacher. Later he recollected, "No one in my family had ever attended school. On the first day of school my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why this particular name I have no idea."


Later, Mandela attended the Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo. This is where he began to be involved in sports and he developed his lifelong passion for gardening. He attended the University of Fort Harare where he enrolled for a degree in Arts. He studied English, Anthropology, Native Administration and Roman Dutch Law.


South Africa was in the throes of racial segregation and anti-apartheid activities. Mandela having participated in revolutionary activities to fight apartheid was jailed. He was imprisoned in the Robben Island prison for eighteen years. He was freed in 1990. He became the president of South Africa in 1994 and he remained in office until 1999. He died in 2013.


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