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Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013

Updated on December 14, 2013

Early years and prison

Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family on the 18th July 1918, Nelson Mandela was an iconic anti- apartheid revolutionary. He attended the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law. Whilst living in Johannesburg he joined the ANC where he became a founding member of the youth league. Working as a lawyer he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was later arrested for trying to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison after militant actions against innocent people, whilst trying to claim freedom from apartheid. Mandela served 27 years in prison where he was first taken to Robben Island and then later moved to Victor Verster prison.

Young Xhosa born Nelson Mandela

A young Nelson Mandela in his traditional clothing,
A young Nelson Mandela in his traditional clothing,

Released from prison

An international campaign lobbied his release and under the presidency of F.W de Klerk, he was released in 1990. President F.W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela worked together to abolish apartheid and established multi - racial elections in 1994.

Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk

End to apartheid
End to apartheid

Nelson Mandela's inaugural address

Mandela becomes the first black president

In 1994 the ANC won the elections and Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa. He created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights abuses from the past. As president he wanted equality for every South African and during his presidential term he formed the "Rainbow Nation" encouraging sanctions to be lifted against South Africa.

Mandela's idea of a free South Africa meant that each and every South African would be equal, have the right to vote, the right to freedom of speech and he also wanted to ensure that the country would be a democratic one, which would see all South Africans educated and free.

A monumental moment in South African History

Mandela shaking  Francois Pienaar; the Captain of the Sprinbok's hand.
Mandela shaking Francois Pienaar; the Captain of the Sprinbok's hand.

Mandela receives Noble peace prize

Although "Madiba" was a controversial figure to most, he gained accreditation for his activism, aided in other countries peace negotiations and fought to prevent poverty. Nelson Mandela received a Noble Peace prize in 1993 and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as the Soviet order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna. Mandela also started the Nelson Mandela Foundation, combating HIV\Aids and poverty.

Mandela's speech at the 46664 concert in Cape Town

Nelson Mandela Dies

At the age of 95 "Tata" passed away at his Houghton home in Johannesburg on the 5th December 2013, after a long battle with his lungs. He was surrounded by family and President Jacob Zuma announced his death in an emotional speech addressing the nation. His body was held in the State hospital, proceeding a 10 day traditional funeral ceremony with the Presidents from many other countries coming to pay their respects to the man that paved the way to freedom and equality for all. Heading: Mandela's Legacy The founding father of democracy and known to many as "The father of the Nation," Madiba had many monuments built in his honour. The Sandton Square was changed to the Nelson Mandela square where there is a large statue of him. The prison that he was finally released from had a statue erected in the space where he first stood after being released. The Drakenstein Correctional Centre, formerly the Victor Verster prison is where you can see it. Movies were made about Mandela and his autobiography will live on to encourage others to fight for freedom and the protection of human rights. Nelson Mandela was married three times, has six children and seventeen grandchildren. He was first married to Evelyn Mase for thirteen years but divorced due to his adultery and revolutionary focus. Winnie Mandela was his second wife, who aided his cause for freedom but she became a radical and Nelson did not approve of her ideas therefore divorced due to political estrangement. His third wife, Graca Machel former wife of Samora Machel, the former President of Mozambique, married him on his 80th birthday. Nelson Mandela has left a family with many of them in appointments as public figures, who intend to continue the work of their father.

Madiba's Journey Home

Nelson Mandela has had his grandson by his side during the three day stay in the Union Building. People from all over the country have come to bid their farewells to "Tata."

On the 14th December Madiba's body was taken to the Waterkloof Air Force Base and then flown to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he was met with a military procession.

The cask with the South African flag spread over it, whilst singing the National anthem has been taken to Mandela's home town in Qunu, his ancestral village, where he will be laid to rest with traditional ceremonies taking place to release his spirit. His grandson will hand over to the oldest member of the family.

Mandela's Body Going Home


A tribute to Nelson Mandela
A tribute to Nelson Mandela | Source

Mandela Doll's Memorabilia

I stumbled across a beautiful blog with dolls that represent Madiba. Angelica, met Mandela in 1994 at the Wild Coast Sun, where he shook her hand. Angie was so moved by Mandela that she created the dolls with his famous shirts. Proudly made in South Africa.

Mandela's 90th Birthday Celebratory R5 coin was limited in circulation and has been sort after ever since.

There have been many sold all over the world and there are three in our collection, not in mint condition.

Mandela Coin

Mandela R5 coin
Mandela R5 coin

President Obama's Tribute to Nelson Mandela


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    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 4 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you!

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 4 years ago from South Africa

      This is a really nice tribute to Madiba - nicely done :)

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 4 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you for all your comments! Mandela was a peace keeper and will be missed by everyone!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Beautiful tribute to Nelson Mandela. He is the real hero in the real world. Thanks for sharing with us. Rest in peace!


    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Beautiful tribute to a most remarkable human being, Nelson Mandela! Thank you, Natasha.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Greetings from Cape Town. Thank you for your wonderful hub on Madiba

    • profile image

      Gerda 4 years ago

      Madiba you were a great leader, and we learned so much from you, thank you for every thing.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      He was a great leader. He was so popular in India that he was awarded 'Bharat Ratna' the highest civilian award by President of India.