Nelson Mandela was born to the Thembu Royal Family of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa in 1918. He studied law at a university. When he was an adult he moved to Johannesburg and ran head on into apartheid South Africa’s version of institutional racism). Not long after Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) and anti apartheid organization, the Afrikaner nationalist Party took over South Africa and moved to strengthen apartheid. Over the next 14 years, Mandela rose in prominence and became a leader in the ANC. In 1962 he was put on trial for conspiracy to overthrow the Government of South Africa and was sentenced to life in prison.
He served the next 27 years at a prison mostly on RobbenIsland off the coast of South Africa. An international effort to lobby for Mandela’s release from prison which was granted in 1990. Mandela became President of the ANC and over the next four years, negotiated with South African President F.W. De Klerk to abolish apartheid and have Sotuh Africa’s first multi racial elections. In 1993 he won the Nobel peace Prize and in 1994 he was elected president of South Africa.
During his term in office he found a way to create a bridge between the races and made South Africa a prosperous nation of true equality. He led by example and illustrated how one life can change the world.
When Mandela was imprisoned the end of apartheid seemed an insurmountable goal. Yet he envisioned it. He was deprived of his liberty by a government that imprisoned him for much of his life yet he forgave his jailers and overcame their prison. He chipped away at the rock hard resolve of apartheid until it crumbled beneath the weight of his righteousness. Once in power, he didn’t take vengeance but built bridges and with wisdom and courage, made South Africa the model nation of Africa.
Copyright 2013, Love Force International Publishing Company.