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Nelson Mandela Essay in English
Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Dalib- hunga in a small village in the Eastern Cape on July 181918. Madiba was his clan nameHe was named Nelson by a teacher at school. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943 andin 1952, started the first black law firm with his partner, oliver Tambo With South Africa then facing the prospects of a civil war because of the policy of apartheid, he Sought reconcilia- tion with the white minority that had kept him in prison for 27 long vears to build a new democ racy.
He led the ANC to victory in the countrys first election in 1994. Unlike other African liber ation leaders who cling to power, Mandela vol untarily stepped down after one termIt was a transcendent act of forgiveness after spending 27 years in prison, which alone will ensure his place in historyHe died on 7th December, 2013 at the age of 95.
When ANC was banned in 1960, Mandela had gone undergroundBut he resurfaced after the Sharpeville massacre, in which 69 black protes- tors were shot dead by police to lead an armed struggle. He was arrested and charged with sab otage and attempting to overthrow the govern ment. He escaped the deathpenalty but was sen tenced to life imprisonment. But as unrest grer and international pressure on the apartheid regime mounted, the ban on ANC was lifted and he was released from the prison in 1990 by the for his own fate.
He lived by the principle that bitterness and hate can achieve no lasting good Despite the punishments heaped on him by a brutal apartheidregimehe did not seek revenge. He sought reconciliation and peace instead to lay foundations for a united South Africa. This is his legacy. It is not for nothing that he is placed alongside Gandhi, though he himself conceded
he was not a saintly person like Gandhi. But like Gandhi, he believed that exclusionist politics could never work in a multicultural society like South Africa and he strived all his life to cre ate an inclusive polity. And he largely succeeded. Even his bitter critics could not help respecting and admiring him for his towering intellect and impeccable integrity
Mandela never used his personal tragedies to score political points. His charm and wit saw him at ease with other heads of state, rock stars activists and the people of South Africa’s ghet tos Democracy may have failed in other parts of Africa, but not in South Africa thanks largely to the exemplary vision of Mandela. He faced tremendous adversity in his life Shis personal life being in disarray—but not once did he seek to subvert the principles of democracy.
Given his staturepeople would have easily accepted any diktat from himHe was truly an inclusive and modern leader the likes of which the world will not get to see in any near time.
The greatest tribute to him will be to adhere to the values he stood for. His departure from the scene has cre ated a cataclysmic upheaval of sorrow all over the world, though it was known that the end was near. As Barack Obama said, He no longer belongs to us.
He belongs to the ages.” He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and retired from public lifeIn June 2013he was taken to hospital with a recurring lung infection but returned home where his bedroom was con verted into an intensive care unit. He was last seen in public at the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg, a tournament he helped bring to South Africa for the first time
Mandela was a charming and charismatic fig ure with a passion for boxing and an eye for women. He married thriceHe married Evelyn Mase in 1944, divorced her in 1957 and the fol lowing year he married Winnie Madikizela, who campaigned for his release and also became a key figure in the struggle.
He married Graca Machel, a human rights activist, in 1998He fathered six children and has twenty grandchildren. Man dela, one of the greatest men in the world, had a heartbreaking family life. His life of 95 years is a legacy.
But it is also a story of loss and lone liness-separation from family for almost three decadestwo broken marriages, and the death of three of his six children