15 January 2014
A person that is able to think beyond himself and help those around him is the authentic definition of what it is to be a hero. Throughout the many struggles that a human can endure in their lifetime, it is possible for them to overcome very troubling circumstances, no matter how severe the situations may be. One man who suffered for a good portion of his life in prison, but managed to make change in the way South Africa fought for peace was Nelson Mandela. He was a leader of apartheid, a nation and the world. Nelson Mandela supported reconciliation and negotiation, and was the driving force behind the transition towards multiracial democracy in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the apartheid in South Africa. The word Apartheid means ‘apartness’ or separateness in Afrikaans and Dutch language. This policy was first introduced in South Africa by the National Party government in 1948. This policy remained in South Africa until the new government was introduced in 1994 when Nelson Mandela took over as president.
Many people are educated about what Mandela has done for his people in South Africa, but what seems to be left out often times is what went on in his early years of life. Nelson Mandela was not always Nelson Mandela; he was born with the name Rolihlahla Mandela. Rolihlahla was born into the Madiba clan in Mvezo Transkei on July 18th, 1918. Mandela was brought into this world by his two parents, Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela. Rolihlahla’s father passed away when he was only 12 years old; Mandela then took over his father’s role as a ward of Jongintaba. Rolihlahla was considered privileged for the education he received. In school in Qunu, his teacher gave out Christian names to all of the school children that attended and Rolihlahla received the name Nelson.