Quick facts about Nelson Mandela

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nelson mandela

Here are some interesting facts about South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela.

  • Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in Transkei, Africa to Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa and Nosekeni Fanny. His original name is Rolihlahla Mandela.
  • Mandela was the first person in his family to receive proper education. He finished his primary studies in a local missionary school.
  • In 1939, he joined University of Fort Hare, which was the only Western-style university in South Africa which allowed Africans to study.
  • Nelson was thrown out of the college along with Oliver Tambo (his business partner in future) and other friends for participation in boycotting against policies of university.
  • In 1944, he joined ANC (African National Congress) and with fellow members like Oliver Tambo he started ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League).
  • He actively participated in 1952’s Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. He also endorsed the “Freedom Charter” manifesto.
  • On December,16,1961, he became the co-founder of “Umkhonto we Sizwe”, an armed wing of ANC.
  • In 1962, the CIA told South Africa the location of Nelson Mandela, leading to his arrest. Mandela was in prison for over 27 years.
  • Mandela slept on a thin mat on a stone floor during his jail term.
  • In 1993, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk. They received this Nobel Peace Prize for getting rid of the apartheid system.
  • In 1994, he became the first president of South Africa to be elected by a democratic system, and he became for first black president.
  • He fathered six children, had 17 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
  • Nelson Mandela’s first son died in a car crash and he lost another son to AIDS.
  • Nelson Mandela was not removed from the U.S. terror watchlist until 2008.
  • Nelson Mandela has a cameo in the 1992 movie “Malcolm X” as a teacher.
  • Nelson Mandela and Muammar Gaddafi were close friends and he co-authored a book with Fidel Castro.
  • After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Mandela died at the age of 95.