Nelson Mandela interesting facts

June 5, 2012 | In: People facts

Nelson Mandela isn’t just a prolific politician from South Africa, but an outstanding human rights fighter. Although most of his life was a continuous persecution, he still managed to influence major decisions in the political world. But let’s have a glimpse of his achievements:

It’s the year 1918 in the village of Qunu, South Africa. Rolihlahla Mandela(the birth name of Nelson Mandela) is born. Nelson Mandela was the son of the third wife, Noqaphi Nosekeni, and could have otherwise expected to become a royal advisor. He was one of thirteen children, and had three elder brothers all of whom were of higher ‘rank’. Nelson Mandela lived with a family whose house was without electricity, plumbing, or heating.

Nelson Mandela was the man who dismembered the South African Apartheid, in other words, racial segregation. In South Africa, black Africans, and white Africans were all kept separat. Originally, there were some local variations, but after the victory of the hardline and partly pro-Nazi Afikaner Nationalists in the 1947 general election (formed only with white members), the system was applied ruthlessly across South Africa. The white minority called this “separate development” but in fact it was a shameless system of white supremacy.

In 1951, Mandela became president of the African National Congress. 13 years later, he was imprisoned on Robben Island for charges of treason and conspiracy. He stayed there for 27 years. We would have stayed longer, but on the 11th of February, 1990, the president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk, released him.

In 1993, these two great personalities shared the Nobel Prize for Peace. With this prize came his global recognition and so, all over the world, people started to believe in his democratic goals and gave him total credit. Not long, he negotiated the end of the Apartheid and led South Africa to democracy. One year later, in 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected president of the country.
After having a brief, sober history of this important 20th century figure, let’s see some strange facts, as well:
Nelson Mandela’s favorite musical artists are Handel and Tchaikovsky.

The Bill Cosby’s show Cliff and Claire Huxtable’s grandchildren were named Nelson and Winnie, in honor of the South African president and his wife, Winnie.

Mandela is the first black president of South Africa and the oldest ever elected. He was 75 when he took office.
Nelson was dubbed the Black Pimpernel, due to his ability to evade police forces. He often disguised himself as a gardener, a chauffeur and even as a chef.

He was honorary degrees from more than 50 universities in the world.

While the average prisoner in the US can get a 30 minutes visit once a week, Nelson Mandela had the privilege of receiving a 30 minute visit once a year. He could only send two letters each ear. Add that up, and he had 13 and a half visiting hours and 54 letters in 27 years. That’s very few even for a month…

Tripe (edible offal) is one of his favorite foods.

The name Nelson was given to him by his schoolteacher. His first name, Rolihlahla means “pulling a branch of a tree”.
Being a very important political figure in the last century, he detracted many personalities, including Margaret Thatchter and Ronald Reagan, who considered him a vicious terrorist.

Be that as it may, Nelson Mandela is one of the most influential democracy fighters and I think every one of us has many good things to learn from him.

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