From the day he was born he was persecuted not for a crime he had committed or an injustice he had made but for the color of his skin. This young boy born the son of a tribe leader in South Africa was born before the apartheid policy was formalised but lived through the effects of the society it came from for years growing up.
Nelson Mandela was born in a country that counted him as less than the dirt, even though his family had lived there much longer than any Europeans. The nature of what he had to live through for so many years was enough to inspire him to become better than his surroundings and make a difference to the way of life in his country for its native inhabitants and him self. The environment he came from shaped him as a person and turned him into more than just a good leader, but a great man and an inspiration to all and any who know what he suffered.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison and 1990 upon his release the man returned to the political scene and in the first all race vote in South Africa, after having won a Nobel Peace Prize five months prior, he was elected president. Mr. Mandela has been noted as humble with a self-deprecating sense of humor but also remarkably strong. Upon his release Mandela spent no time looking for vengeance on those 27 years he lost, but instead dedicated them to a better cause.
Never has he ever backed down from what he believed in, even after having been offered a reduced sentence for some compromise after he was charge with sabotage and an attempt at overthrowing the government he re fused to back down. And instead of folding he conducted his own defence in the courtroom, where he used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality.
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities,” he said.
“It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.
Even while Mr. Mandela was in prison the catalyst he had sparked in his trial set off a movement in the country. Even when he could not speak to the outside world they still followed him as a leader, some hundreds of black youths even losing their lives for the fight toward equality. Mandela was a born leader of men and was able to empathise with all he encountered, making him well loved by the native community in South Africa.
I think Nelson Mandela is well known for who he is, but overlooked for what he did. This man freed a country from a racial apartheid while he sat in a prison cell. He was a Great man not just good. From that cell he motivated an entire community to fight for a cause without being there to talk to them or inspire them; the message of his cause was enough to motivate them. He himself managed to survive the tyranny of monsters and come out from that. He was one of the best influences any country has had from their leader, and took his country forward to become a better place to exist, a place of equality, which was his dream.
- by Ben McCarthy, 11ENG