10 interesting facts from the life of Nelson Mandela


Name: Nelson Mandela

Birthday: July 18, 1918

Place of Birth: Mwezo village, Umtata, South Africa

Date of death: December 5 2013 (95 years old)

Cause of death: find out respiratory infection

Place of burial: find out South Africa, Tsgunu Village

Height: 185 cm

Eastern horoscope: Horse

Career: Historical figures

Early years

Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918 on the east coast of South Africa, in the village of Mfezo, located in the vicinity of Umtata. The politician's father, Gadlo Mandela, was the head of the village and belonged to the younger branch of the ruling East Cape dynasty, speaking the tongue of the braid. During disagreements with the colonial government, the head of the family was removed from office and, together with his wives and children, was relocated to a neighboring village.

Nelson was one of the leader’s thirteen children born to his third wife, and received the name Rolichlahl, meaning "one who brings trouble to himself." It was difficult for teachers of the Methodist school to pronounce the African names of the children, so that each of them received an English name. The teacher named Little Rolihlahlu Nelson.

In the 30s, the provisional ruler of the region was Jongitaba Daliendibo, whose ally and assistant was Gadlo Mandela. After the death of Gadlo in 1927, the regent Jongitaba became the patron of Nelson, and after the young man passed the initiation rite in 1939, he paid for his studies at the public university of Fotr Her, one of the few universities in South Africa that accepted black students.

At university, Nelson studied with his son Jongitamba, studying humanities. Dissatisfaction with the existing order acquired protest forms after meeting a student Oliver Tambo. Young people took part in anti-government protests, for which they were expelled from the university in 1940.

Political Opinion Formation

In Johannesburg, Nelson became a member of the ANC, a left-wing political organization. A year later, he left school and, together with Tambo, opened a legal office for the provision of services to the black population.

The beginning of the creation of Bantustan, a kind of reservation for the indigenous population, restricting the rights of representatives of the indigenous peoples of South Africa, and the heyday of apartheid policies led to mass protests, but did not affect the policy of the authorities.

Violence in response to violence

In the spring of 1960, ANC activists staged a peaceful protest against the introduction of the access system. More than 6 thousand people came on an early March morning to the police station building and offered to arrest themselves for their lack of credentials. Despite the fairly correct behavior of the police, who tried to calm the gathering, the number of which increased to 10 thousand, the situation got out of control and fire was fired from the air, resulting in more than 50 protesters being killed. The UN condemned the government of South Africa, but the authorities chose to tighten the screws and ban the ANC, forcing the opposition to go underground.

In response to the shooting of civilians, the radical-minded Word and Schwartz created a paramilitary branch of the ANC, which Nelson was proposed to lead. The group consisted of the most physically prepared members of the ANC and provided for partisan methods of struggle. For two years, in the large settlements and cities, the Spear of the Nation group conducted about 200 sabotage in government offices, post offices, banks and crowded places, which led to the deaths of hundreds of people. ANC policies condemned all countries, and Margaret Thatcher called Mandela terrorist No. 1.

In 1962, one David Motsamaia was detained and sentenced to 5 years in prison for illegally crossing the border. But the investigation, which led to the arrest of ANC militants and a search at their training bases, showed that the commander of the "black bombers" was hiding under the name of Motsamaya. “Government violence has generated retaliatory violence,” Mandela said in a 1962 trial.

In the spring of 1964, ANC and Nelson Mandela militants were convicted of sabotage and using tactical weapons against civilians and sentenced to death, but in April 1964, the death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment.

Prisoner of conscience

It is known that the South African government has repeatedly offered the prisoner freedom in exchange for refusing his political convictions and violent methods of struggle, but the “prisoner of conscience” did not agree.

In the late 70's, the movement for the liberation of Mandela reached truly universal proportions, which was facilitated by the competent policy of Slovo and Schwartz, who spread the information that he was in solitary confinement, spent most of the day in slave labor, and his daily ration was half the ration of a white prisoner.

In the spring of 1982, Mandela, who became the most famous political prisoner in the world, was transferred to Cape Town Prison and was soon operated on - he was diagnosed with a prostate tumor.

Mandela's shaky health was also exploited by the ideologists of the ANC, which was banned, but did not lead to the release of its leader. The situation changed only after 4 years. In 1988, President Le Clerk signed a decree on the legalization of parties fighting apartheid, including the ANC, and on February 11, 1990, media around the world broadcast the release of Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison.

President of South Africa

ANC won the March 1994 parliamentary elections by gaining more than 62% of the vote, and a month later, Mandela took the presidency. During his reign, he issued a series of laws that made a breakthrough in the restoration of the equality of black and white people. Innovations also had a beneficial effect on the growth of welfare of South African citizens, the development of healthcare and education.

Long-time associate of Mandela Slovo was appointed Minister of Housing, and Mr. Schwartz took over as ambassador of South Africa to the United States.

Personal life of Nelson Mandela

Mandela's first wife was Evelyn Mays, whose marriage lasted from 1944 to 1958. Evelyn gave her husband four children: Madib's eldest son died during Mandela’s imprisonment, the middle Magkaho died of AIDS in 2005, and Makaziva’s daughter died in infancy. Pumla Makaziva Mandela, born in 1954, acted as secretary and biographer of her father until his death.

The second chosen one of Mandela was his ANC colleague Vinnie Madikizela, who gave birth to the daughters of Zenani and Zinji. With twenty-year-old Vinnie Mandela met in Johannesburg, where she came from Bizan to enter the University, but instead became a member of the ANC. During her imprisonment, Vinnie supported her husband, who, becoming president, appointed her to a leadership position in Congress, but was soon forced to dismiss her after learning of Vinnie's betrayal and her crimes.

In the early 80s, Winnie organized a football club for teenagers from poor families, but the sport was just a cover and instead of football, the instructors hired by Winnie taught the children military techniques and raised hatred for whites in them. At the trial, it was not possible to prove the involvement of the Winnie gang in the murders of the whites, and the woman remained at large. In 1991, she was convicted of the murder of a teenager, but spent only one and a half years in prison: the crime was committed by another person who was also an ANC activist.

In 1999, Winnie managed to take a post in parliament, but in 2003 she was fired with a scandal and convicted of fraud, receiving bribes and embezzlement of public funds.


Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mfeso, located on the left bank of the Mbache River, in South Africa. His father, Gadla Henry Mandela, at the time of the birth of his son, headed the village administration and was a member of the Privy Council of the Tembu tribe. His mother, Nongapi Nosekeni, was the third most important wife of Gadl, who simultaneously had 4 spouses. In addition to Nelson, the father had 3 more sons and 9 daughters.

Nelson Mandela

Interestingly, at the birth of the boy, they called Holilal, which can be translated as "Prankster." But when he was the first of the children of Mandela Sr. to go to school, the English teacher, according to the established tradition, gave all students English names. It was at school that the name Nelson Mandela appeared. After a few years, the family moved to another village - Tsgunu. This was due to the displacement of his father by the new colonial authorities from the post of head of Mfezo.

Nelson Mandela in his youth

Gadla Mandela heavily received this news, because of his experiences he undermined his health and died when Nelson was only 9 years old. After elementary school, Nelson Mandela externally graduated from Clarkbury Boarding School, then attended Methodist College in Fort Beaufort. At this educational institution, Nelson fell in love with sports, especially running and boxing, which he preferred until the end of his life.

Nelson Mandela in his youth

At the age of 21, he was enrolled as a student at Fort Har University, although a black resident with a diploma of higher education at that time was very rare. But there, Mandela studied for only a year. He left the university because of the participation in the boycott of students who disagree with the course and results of the election to the student representative council.

Nelson Mandela at the University

In 1941, the undereducated Mandela moved to Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, where he found work as a guard at a mine, and a little later, as a junior clerk in a law office. At the same time as a lawyer, Nelson Mandela graduated in absentia from the University of South Africa and received a bachelor's degree in humanities. Immediately after this, he enters the University of Witwatersrand Law School, where he meets Joe Slovo and Harry Schwartz, future ministers of his government.

The beginning of the political struggle

As a student at the university, Nelson Mandela is very keen on politics. Radical African ideas have a significant influence on him. He regularly participates in gatherings of black intellectuals of the African National Congress and appears at rallies and protests, supporting the side of the local population. In 1948, the National Party of Afrikaners came to power in South Africa and apartheid became the main strategy for the development of the state.

Politician Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela becomes Secretary General and later President of the African National Congress Youth League. He organizes a campaign of disobedience to power, and in 1955 convenes a Congress of the free people. His help to people did not consist only in political disagreement. Mandela creates the first legal office that provides free services to black people, compiles a list of principles for the future democratic society of the Republic of South Africa, the Freedom Charter, which will be the main document for the non-violent struggle against the apartheid regime.

Nelson Mandela with associates

But in the early 60s, Nelson Mandela, having achieved nothing peacefully, created the radical organization Umkonto ve siswe, which allows for the possibility of armed struggle. Together with team members, they arrange explosions of government and military installations. Later, their struggle becomes partisan. But in the fall of 1962, Mandela appears before the court and is sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for organizing strikes and illegal border crossing. Later, due to additional charges, this sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Prison and the Presidency

Nelson Mandela has been in prison for 27 years. As a political prisoner, he had the worst conditions of detention and the least amount of privileges. For example, he was allowed to write only one letter or make only one call every six months. Nevertheless, thanks to the support of his remaining free friends, it was during this period that he managed to become a world celebrity.

Nelson Mandela

Most states have published slogans in the press similar to the famous Freedom Nelson Mandela. In addition, a black fighter for justice, while in prison, managed to graduate from the University of London in absentia and earn a bachelor's degree in law. In 1981, he, while still in prison, claimed the post of honorary rector of the university, but lost the election.

Nelson Mandela in prison

Since the mid-80s, the government has been trying to find a compromise in relations with Mandela. He is offered freedom in exchange for refusing to fight apartheid. Nelson declines the offer. Only in 1989, when Frederic Willem de Klerk took over as president, did the authorities lift the ban on the African National Congress. A year later, Nelson Mandela and his supporters were acquitted in court and released.

People demand the release of Nelson Mandela

Despite being released, the relationship of Mandela and de Klerk was very tense. Not getting them closer and getting a joint Nobel Prize. The fact is that Nelson Mandela immediately after leaving prison began an intensified fight against the government, which was accompanied by terrorist attacks and skirmishes. True, in most of these explosions and clashes, Mandela blamed the authorities. Nevertheless, his efforts led to the fact that in 1994 the first democratic elections in the history of South Africa were held and the African National Congress, with 62% of the vote, Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.

Over the 5 years of his reign, the new president has achieved free medical care for children and pregnant women, free compulsory education for children under 14 years old, introduced equality in the payment of benefits, increased subsidies for the maintenance of rural residents, introduced laws on land, labor relations, level qualifications of workers, equality in employment and many others. Under the government of Mandela, large-scale work was carried out in the country on telephone, electrification, construction of hospitals, clinics and residential buildings.

After resigning in 1999, Nelson Mandela became an active fighter against the spread of AIDS, achieved more open coverage of the problems of this disease in the Republic of South Africa, which is still the sad leader in the number of deaths from the 20th century plague.


In the early summer of 2013, Nelson was hospitalized due to the resumption of an old pulmonary disease, where he stayed until mid-September. For a long time, his condition was assessed as stably critical. But in November, health shook even more, and Mandela is connected to an artificial respiration apparatus. Nevertheless, despite all the efforts of doctors, the former president died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

The funeral of Nelson Mandela

Within 3 days, the movement in the capital of Pretoria was stopped, because for parting with the apartheid fighter, a crowd of thousands gathered in a queue of many kilometers. The official funeral of Nelson Mandela was held on December 15, 2013 in the village of Tsgunu, in which the leader of the South African people grew up.

Childhood and youth

After Mandela Sr. ceased to be the head of Mfezo, the whole family moved to live in the village of Tsgunu. Father very painfully transferred his dismissal from office. For this reason, his state of health seriously worsened, which ultimately led to his death.

19-year-old Nelson Mandela in 1937

After receiving his primary education, Nelson Mandela continued to study at Clarkbury boarding school. Then the young man entered Methodist College, located in Fort Beaufort.

By that time, Nelson was seriously interested in boxing and running. His love for these sports remained with him for the rest of his life.At the age of 21, he became a student at Fort Har University.

In his first year, Mandela took part in a student protest, organized due to fraud in the elections to the Student Council. Soon, he will give up his seat on the council, despite a warning from the leadership, and, expressing dissatisfaction with the elections, will leave the university of his own free will.

The dawn of Nelson Mandela's youth came in the years of World War II (1939-1941). In 1941, he moved to live in the metropolis of South Africa - Johannesburg. Trying to find at least some work, Nelson got a job as a guard at the mine. He was later hired as a clerk at a law firm.

In parallel, Mandela begins to study in absentia at a local university and eventually becomes a bachelor of humanities. Then he enters the University of Witwatersrand in the legal department.

Photo by Nelson Mandela

Mandela's cell in Robben prison Mandela in 1960 Monument to Nelson Mandela in London

Nelson Mandela Effect

The 1950s and 1960s were marked by a series of revolutions and the overthrow of the colonialist regime in African countries such as Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria, and Congo. Supporters expected something similar from Mandela. The impetus was the tragedy of Sharpeville on March 21 in 1960. On that day, the ANC called on blacks to come to the police station to express dissatisfaction against the record book system.

The site was surrounded by a crowd of 6 thousand people, who were scattered by the cops with gas and batons. After some time, people again began to flock to the station, demanding the release of the three arrested during the dispersal of leaders. When the demonstrators began to swing the fence surrounding the task, the police could not stand the nerves, and fire was opened on the crowd. The result of a 40-second shooting was the killing of 69 people.

After this tragedy, ANC members began to demand from Mandela to abandon the postulates of Mahatma Gandhi, replacing them with the more familiar - blood for blood. And Nelson Mandela did not deceive their expectations, having organized in 1961 the armed wing of the ANC - “Umkonto ve sisve” (“Spear of the nation”). The purpose of this organization was the destruction of a state built by whites. To this end, Nelson managed to attract money from abroad and provide training for his fighters outside of South Africa.

Apartheid in South Africa

And soon the terrorists made themselves felt. Here is what Mandela’s comrade-in-arms, Wulfi Kadesh recalled: “... from December 16, 1961, we had to start blowing up symbolic apartheid places, such as passport desks, local magistrates' courts, post offices and government offices.” By the 1980s, the number of victims of black terror was in the hundreds. Even Mandela himself admitted that the ANC grossly violated human rights in its struggle. As a result, the ANC was ranked by the United States as a terrorist organization, and its members were barred from entering the United States until 2008.

Apartheid Victims in South Africa

Even more surprisingly, apartheid laws in South Africa have become templates for anti-terrorism measures taken in the United States after September 11, 2001. However, American
intelligence services helped the South African authorities neutralize black terrorists. True, they did this because of their affiliation with the Communists. On August 5, 1962, Nelson Mandela, already on the wanted list for 17 months, was stopped by police at the wheel of a car. He had a passport with him in a strange name, and this seemed strange to the inspector. In the station where the detainee was taken, it turned out that he was charged with much more serious crimes.

Nelson Mandela in prison

In 1963, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to five years in prison for organizing a strike and illegal border crossing. But these were only "flowers." On July 11, 1963, South Africa’s police on the MI6 and CIA tips arrested several ANC leaders at Lilislif Farm. Records of Mandela were also found there. As a result, he was charged with planning terrorist attacks. Amazingly, Nelson Mandela admitted the allegations in court! Rejected only the charge of inviting a foreign army to South Africa.

However, the court found him and the other defendants guilty. According to established practice, the death penalty awaited them, but on June 12, 1964, it was replaced by life imprisonment. Mandela was sent to serve his sentence on Robben Island at the Cape of Good Hope. There were no fences, towers and barking shepherds, but escape from here was considered impossible. Unlike the Gulag, political prisoners lived here separately from criminals, although they had less rights.

Nelson Mandela in prison

For example, Nelson Mandela received only one date and one letter within six months. However, this inconvenience was easily dispensed with the help of lawyers, secretly delivering letters to political prisoners. In addition, in conclusion, Nelson Mandela was able to obtain a diploma from the University of London. According to legend, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in a quarry, but judging by the camp documents, he worked as a cartographer, and in recent years he was completely relieved of work and transferred to a comfortable cottage.

In 1988, South African President Peter Botha offered him freedom in exchange for "unconditional non-violence as a political weapon," but Nelson Mandela rejected this.
sentence. Then Nelson was transferred to the Victor Verster prison, where he was waiting for his release. At that time, South Africa had long been under the pressure of sanctions, and everyone understood that the days of apartheid were numbered.

Nelson Mandela President

Finally, on February 11, 1990, the last white president of South Africa, Frederick de Klerk, who is often called the South African Gorbachev, signed a decree on the legalization of the ANC and the release of Mandela. Four years later, in 1994, the ANC leader succeeded de Klerk as president.

Nelson Mandela President

Transition to democratic rails cost South Africa a lot. During the presidency of Nelson Mandela (1994-1999), South African incomes fell by 40%, and the rate of homicide among "liberated" citizens increased significantly. Moreover, the role of victims were most often white farmers who gave jobs to thousands of Africans. Now their farms were burned, the land was empty. As a result, more than 750 thousand whites left the country. Black racism was no better than white.

The funeral of Nelson Mandela

But the world community was no longer concerned about this. In 1993, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and he himself became a symbol of the unyielding struggle for the ideals of freedom. Mandela died on December 5, 2013 at the 96th year of his life.


Watch the video: Nelson Mandela - Facts (March 2020).