Stories and Traveltips

ID #3471

Mandela’s Journey, South Africa.

Nelson Mandela, ex-President of South Africa, was born in 1918 the son of a Thembu tribal chief in the tiny Eastern Cape village of Qunu. In his best selling autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, he explains that his Xhosa name, Rolihlahla, means “…pulling the branches of a tree” or “troublemaker”. “I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future”, writes Mandela. “But in later years friends and relatives would ascribe to my birthname the many storms I have both caused and weathered. In his long fight against apartheid, the lawyer and political activist did indeed encounter many obstacles. His work with the African National Congress (ANC) earned him a lifetime prison sentence for treason in the early 60’s. He spent 27 years behind bars before his release in 1990 on the orders of then-President F W de Klerk. After his release Mandela was elected President of the ANC and worked with de Klerk to shape the future of a post-apartheid nation. The two were honoured in April 1994 with the Nobel Peace Prize. Mandela became President of the Republic of South Africa in the country’s first multi-racial elections. His conciliatory approach to leadership miraculously transformed South Africa into a peaceful democracy. Consistently named one of the world’s most admired men, Mandela has since retired to his village in Qunu. AKMandela


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Last update: 2014-05-14 13:57
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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