About Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is beloved not only in South Africa, but around the world. Nelson Mandela changed the trajectory and history of the people and South Africa as a country by choosing to be a voice rather than an echo. However, this did not come cheap, and he was sentenced to life in jail. Much has been said and written about this remarkable man. But who is Nelson Mandela really? This lecture aims to give you a general knowledge of Nelson Mandela's life and the extraordinary impact he had on the globe.  Mandela by deciding to be a voice and not an echo, completely changed the course and history of the people and South Africa as a country. However this did not come cheaply and he had to pay a hefty price of life imprisonment. Much has been written and said about this great man. But who really is Nelson Mandela? This speech seeks to provide you with a general understanding of Nelson Mandela's life as well as the exceptional impact he left in the world.
Mandela by deciding to be a voice and not an echo, completely changed the course and history of South Africa as a country. Mandela was a man who refused to take anything less than that he thought was right, and as a result, he continuously and tirelessly struggled for his beliefs of a free and democratic society (Sampson, 2014). Mandela's passion and belief for what he believed in is well captured in his now famous almost immortal 1964 speech, "I have fought against white domination, and fought against black domination, I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die" ( Biwi, 2014). Mandela through his efforts lived those words and he relentlessly fought to bring peace, acceptance and equality to all South Africans-a battle in which he became the designated leader, and at the same time that would land him a lifetime imprisonment.
Mandela completely devoted himself-sacrificing everything he had, to the struggle in realizing freedom and equal rights for all South Africans. His 1964 imprisonment marked the start of his 27 year life imprisonment and while at prison he was influenced by numerous forces that played a big part in establishing the attitudes and personality that would shape the character of the future first democratically elected black President of South Africa (Stengel, 2012). Mandela was and is still regarded as a living symbol of the struggle against the apartheid in South Africa at the tender age of 30, and constantly refused compromising his political stand. Mandela whose prisoner number was 466/64, would finally be released on 11 February 1990 after serving 27 years and 5 months behind bars. Immediately on his release, Mandela now a free man, threw himself back into the struggle that landed him in prison.
Mandela travelled throughout South Africa and the world at large sourcing for donors to sustain the anti-apartheid movement. Mandela would then join hands with F.W. de Klerk-the then South Africa's white president to do away with the policies that encouraged rigorous segregation. In 1991, Mandela was elected ANC's president and in 1993 Mandela and de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize (Sampson, 2014). In May 10, 1994, Mandela was sworn in as the first democratically elected president of South Africa, stepping down in 1999 to work more directly with the people (Limb, 2010. In his later years, Mandela would devote most of his time to the foundations he founded and continued his dedication of being a voice as well as an abdicant in the absence of persecuted individuals and a strong force for evolving equality.
In conclusion, there are many lessons that we can learn from Mandela, but the most important is never giving up for what one believes in, no matter the circumstances or forces that would be working against you. Mandela proved to the world that indeed our deepest fear isn't that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure!

Biwi, M. (2014). Nelson Mandela's quotes and tributes.
Limb, P. (2010). Nelson Mandela: A biography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Sampson, A. (2014). Mandela: The authorised biography.
Stengel, R. (2012). Nelson Mandela: Portrait of an extraordinary man.

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