Remarkable People

ID #5229

Nelson Mandela 1 Early Life, South Africa.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-) served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first president to be elected in a fully-representative election. Prior to his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life in prison. Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island. Following his release on 11 February 1990, Mandela led his party in negotiations that led to multi-racial democracy in 1994. As president from 1994 to 1999, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation. Mandela is widely known as Madiba, a title adopted by elders of his clan. Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mandela belongs to a branch of the Thembu (Tembu) dynasty in the Transkei. He was born in Mvezo, a village in the Umtata district. His paternal great-grandfather Ngubengcuka (who died in 1832), ruled as the Inkosi Enkhulu (king), of the Thembu.  One of the king's sons, Mandela, was his grandfather and the source of his surname. However, because he was the Inkosi's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan (the "Left-Hand House"), descendants of his branch of the family are not eligible to succeed to the Thembu throne.

Mandela's father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa served as chief of Mvezo. However, because he annoyed the colonial authorities, they deprived him of his position and moved the family to Qunu. Despite this, Mphakanyiswa remained a member of the Inkosi's Privy Council and played a role in Jongintaba Dalindyebo's ascension to the Thembu throne. Dalindyebo would later return the favour by informally adopting Mandela. Mandela's father had four wives, with whom he fathered thirteen children (four boys and nine girls).  Mandela was born to his third wife, Nosekeni Fanny. Fanny was daughter of Nkedama of the Mpemvu clan, the Right Hand House, in whose umzi or homestead Mandela spent much of his childhood. His given name Rolihlahla means "to pull a branch of a tree", or more colloquially, "troublemaker".

Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend school where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name "Nelson".

When Mandela was nine his father died of tuberculosis and the regent, Jongintaba, became his guardian.  Mandela attended a Wesleyan mission school. Following custom, he was initiated at sixteen and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three. In 1937 Mandela moved to Healdtown, a Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, where he became interested in boxing and running.

After enrolling at Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Arts. Tambo and Mandela became lifelong friends and colleagues. Mandela also became close friends with Kaiser Matanzima who, as scion of the Thembu Right Hand House, was in line for the throne of Transkei -- a role that would lead him to embrace Bantustan policies. His support of these policies would place the two on opposite sides of the political spectrum. At the end of Mandela’s first year, he became involved in a Students' Representative Council boycott against university policies and was told to leave Fort Hare. Later, while in prison, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London.

Shortly after leaving Fort Hare, Jongintaba announced that he had arranged marriages for Mandela and Justice (the regent's son and heir to the throne). Displeased with the arrangement, the young men fled to Johannesburg where Mandela found employment as a mine guard. However, Mandela lost his job after his employer learned that he was the Regent's runaway ward. Through Walter Sisulu’s connections, Mandela started work as an articled clerk at a Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman. While working there, Mandela completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA) after which he began law studies at the University of Witwatersrand, where he befriended the activists Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz and Ruth First. Slovo eventually became Mandela's Minister of Housing while Schwarz became his Ambassador to Washington. Mandela belongs to a branch of the Thembu (Tembu) dynasty in the Transkei. He was born in Mvezo, a village in the Umtata district. His paternal great-grandfather Ngubengcuka (who died in 1832), ruled as the Inkosi Enkhulu (king), of the Thembu.  One of the king's sons, Mandela, was his grandfather and the source of his surname. However, because he was the Inkosi's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan (the "Left-Hand House"), descendants of his branch of the family are not eligible to succeed to the Thembu throne.

Mandela's father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa served as chief of Mvezo. However, because he annoyed the colonial authorities, they deprived him of his position and moved the family to Qunu. Despite this, Mphakanyiswa remained a member of the Inkosi's Privy Council and played a role in Jongintaba Dalindyebo's ascension to the Thembu throne. Dalindyebo would later return the favour by informally adopting Mandela. Mandela's father had four wives, with whom he fathered thirteen children (four boys and nine girls).  Mandela was born to his third wife, Nosekeni Fanny. Fanny was daughter of Nkedama of the Mpemvu clan, the Right Hand House, in whose umzi or homestead Mandela spent much of his childhood. His given name Rolihlahla means "to pull a branch of a tree", or more colloquially, "troublemaker".

Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend school where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name "Nelson".

When Mandela was nine his father died of tuberculosis and the regent, Jongintaba, became his guardian.  Mandela attended a Wesleyan mission school. Following custom, he was initiated at sixteen and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three. In 1937 Mandela moved to Healdtown, a Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, where he became interested in boxing and running.

After enrolling at Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Arts. Tambo and Mandela became lifelong friends and colleagues. Mandela also became close friends with Kaiser Matanzima who, as scion of the Thembu Right Hand House, was in line for the throne of Transkei -- a role that would lead him to embrace Bantustan policies. His support of these policies would place the two on opposite sides of the political spectrum. At the end of Mandela’s first year, he became involved in a Students' Representative Council boycott against university policies and was told to leave Fort Hare. Later, while in prison, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London.

Shortly after leaving Fort Hare, Jongintaba announced that he had arranged marriages for Mandela and Justice (the regent's son and heir to the throne). Displeased with the arrangement, the young men fled to Johannesburg where Mandela found employment as a mine guard. However, Mandela lost his job after his employer learned that he was the Regent's runaway ward. Through Walter Sisulu’s connections, Mandela started work as an articled clerk at a Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman. While working there, Mandela completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA) after which he began law studies at the University of Witwatersrand, where he befriended the activists Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz and Ruth First. Slovo eventually became Mandela's Minister of Housing while Schwarz became his Ambassador to Washington.

Mandela belongs to a branch of the Thembu (Tembu) dynasty in the Transkei. He was born in Mvezo, a village in the Umtata district. His paternal great-grandfather Ngubengcuka (who died in 1832), ruled as the Inkosi Enkhulu (king), of the Thembu.  One of the king's sons, Mandela, was his grandfather and the source of his surname. However, because he was the Inkosi's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan (the "Left-Hand House"), descendants of his branch of the family are not eligible to succeed to the Thembu throne.

Mandela's father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa served as chief of Mvezo. However, because he annoyed the colonial authorities, they deprived him of his position and moved the family to Qunu. Despite this, Mphakanyiswa remained a member of the Inkosi's Privy Council and played a role in Jongintaba Dalindyebo's ascension to the Thembu throne. Dalindyebo would later return the favour by informally adopting Mandela. Mandela's father had four wives, with whom he fathered thirteen children (four boys and nine girls).  Mandela was born to his third wife, Nosekeni Fanny. Fanny was daughter of Nkedama of the Mpemvu clan, the Right Hand House, in whose umzi or homestead Mandela spent much of his childhood. His given name Rolihlahla means "to pull a branch of a tree", or more colloquially, "troublemaker".

Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend school where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name "Nelson".

When Mandela was nine his father died of tuberculosis and the regent, Jongintaba, became his guardian.  Mandela attended a Wesleyan mission school. Following custom, he was initiated at sixteen and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three. In 1937 Mandela moved to Healdtown, a Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, where he became interested in boxing and running.

After enrolling at Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Arts. Tambo and Mandela became lifelong friends and colleagues. Mandela also became close friends with Kaiser Matanzima who, as scion of the Thembu Right Hand House, was in line for the throne of Transkei -- a role that would lead him to embrace Bantustan policies. His support of these policies would place the two on opposite sides of the political spectrum. At the end of Mandela’s first year, he became involved in a Students' Representative Council boycott against university policies and was told to leave Fort Hare. Later, while in prison, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London.

Shortly after leaving Fort Hare, Jongintaba announced that he had arranged marriages for Mandela and Justice (the regent's son and heir to the throne). Displeased with the arrangement, the young men fled to Johannesburg where Mandela found employment as a mine guard. However, Mandela lost his job after his employer learned that he was the Regent's runaway ward. Through Walter Sisulu’s connections, Mandela started work as an articled clerk at a Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman. While working there, Mandela completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA) after which he began law studies at the University of Witwatersrand, where he befriended the activists Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz and Ruth First. Slovo eventually became Mandela's Minister of Housing while Schwarz became his Ambassador to Washington.



attached files: US and UK Foreign Policy.doc, Early Life.doc, Lockerbie Trial.doc, Anti-Apartheid Activities.doc, Movies and Television.doc, Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe.doc, Health.doc, Arrest and Rivonia Trial.doc, Political Activity.doc, Ismail Ayob controversy.doc, AIDS engagement.doc, Negotiations.doc, Acclaim.doc, Retirement.doc, Release from Prison.doc, Presidency.doc, Biographies.doc, Blood Diamond controversy.doc, Imprisonment.doc, Marriage and Family.doc

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Last update: 2014-03-17 02:29
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.7

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