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An optimist, a hero for those who he helped, and most importantly a human just like everyone in this room except maybe for one or two people. The leader I chose was Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela spent his young life fighting for the freedom of South Africa’s black and coloured population from oppression imposed by the minority government. He was imprisoned for 27 years. Soon after release, he became the first president of South Africa in elections in which all the people could vote. He gave great priority to reconciliation between the races.
Early Upbringing
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo Umtata which was then a part of south Africa’s Cape Province. Nelson Mandela’s father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, was a local chief and councillor to the monarch; he was appointed to the position in 1915, after his predecessor was accused of corruption by a governing white magistrate.
His Father died when he was nine, and he became the ward of the Paramount Chief and expected to eventually take high office. Nelson grew up with two sisters in his mother’s kraal in the village of Qunu, where he tended herds as a cattle-boy and spent much time outside with other boys. Both his parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent him to a local mission primary school when he was seven, there he was given the name Nelson.
Rise to success
After secondary schooling he enrolled at university of Fort Hare in 1939 and became friends with Oliver Tambo. Mandela and his cousin Justice then ran away to Johannesburg to escape arranged marriages. While there he met Walter Sisilu who who later became a close friend. In 1943, Mandela met Anton Lembede, an ANC member affiliated with the “Africanist” branch of African nationalism, which was virulently opposed to a racially united front against colonialism and imperialism or to an alliance with the communists.
Despite his friendships with non-blacks and communists, Mandela embraced Lembede’s views, believing that black Africans should be entirely independent in their struggle for political self-determination. While studying, in 1943 he joined the African National Congress (ANC) to campaign for justice for the people of South Africa. In 1948 he was elected secretary for the African National Congress Youth League which was trying to persuade the ANC to become more active in their campaigning. In that year, all-white elections were held – no black or mixed race people were allowed to take part – and the National Party was elected to bring in Apartheid.
In 1949, the Youth League persuaded the ANC to accept a campaign of boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-co-operation. And in 1952, the ANC embarked on a Defiance Campaign against unjust laws. Nelson Mandela toured the country encouraging people to take part in civil disobedience. He was arrested, with others, and convicted. He was given a suspended sentence and his movements were restricted.
He continued to work for justice and against apartheid, to the annoyance of the authorities and, in 1956, he and 155 others were charged with high treason and imprisoned during a trial that lasted 4 years and at the end of which they were acquitted (found not guilty). In 1960, the ANC was outlawed so they had to conduct their meetings in secret from then on. Despite that, he would go to other public meetings and speak out against the repressive regime and secretly organise civil action like strikes and sit ins. However, he had to move around a lot because the authorities were looking for him and he kept evading them.
The authorities were using ever more brutal methods to enforce the laws; everyone, except whites, had to carry passes on them at all times which restricted where they were allowed to go. In 1960, there was a huge demonstration outside a police station in Sharpeville when more than 5000 people presented themselves without passes, demanding to be arrested. Sometime in the afternoon, the police started shooting. 69 people were killed, including 8 women and 10 children, and 180 injured, including 31 women and 19 children.
Incidents like this made the leadership of the ANC decide that the fight for freedom had to become an armed struggle, since peaceful means were not working and were met with force. Under an assumed name, Nelson Mandela travelled abroad in 1962 to enlist support for their cause. Shortly after their return he was arrested for leaving the country illegally and incitement to strike. He was convicted and given 5 years imprisonment. While in prison, their underground HQ was uncovered and he and 10 others were charged with sabotage.
Nelson Mandela, Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, along with 6 others were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. They were flown to Robben Island. They refused offers of remission in return for accepting apartheid. “Prisoners cannot enter into contracts – only free men can negotiate.” Mandela said and he stayed in prison a further 26 years. During that time, in 1976, thousands of school children and students in Soweto walked out of school to march in protest against a law forcing them to do their learning in ‘Afrikaans’, “the language of the oppressor” (Tutu). When they would not disperse, the police fired into the crowds of children, killing and wounding many. Chaos and rioting followed. The final death toll is unkown but runs into hundreds, with thousands wounded. This news spread throughout the world, highlighting the brutal repression of the regime.
A new Nationalist president F. W. de Klerk took office. He responded to the pressure to release Mr. Mandela and lift the ban on the ANC. On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela walked free. The following year he was elected President of the ANC. In 1993, together they accepted the Nobel Peace prize, on behalf of all the people who had suffered so much to bring justice to South Africa.
In 1994, Mr. Mandela voted for the first time and a few weeks later became South Africa’s first Black President in elections in which, for the first time, every South African adult was able to vote. Despite the brutality of the previous regime and his own personal suffering, Nelson Mandela instituted a peace and reconciliation agenda, never faltering in his belief in democracy, equality and learning, holding out the hand of peace to those who had oppressed and deprived others.
Explain whose in the pictures
Personal life
Mandela Married evelyn mase in october 1944 from his homeland in Transkei. She was the cousin of Walter Sisulu. They had four kids.
Mandela married Winnie Mandela in 1958. She was Johannesburg’s first black social worker. Their marriage lasted until 1996. They had two kids.
Mandela married his third wife Graça Machel in 1998 on his 80th birthday. She was the widow of Samora Machel, the former Mozambican president.
Qualities that make nelson mandela a good leader
His willingness to fight against injustice and racism wherever he met it
His refusal to bow to pressure to accept injustice to keep himself out of prison
His flexibility in being prepared to talk to the ‘oppressor’ government
He always put the cause of justice and freedom from oppression before his own safety
His ability to put away revenge for the good of all people in South Africa
His inspirational leadership
Where is he now?
Right now Nelson Mandela is currently dead. Nelson Mandela passed away recently on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. Nelson mandela passed away because of respiratory tract infection. Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are any infection of the sinuses, throat, airways or lungs.
Anyways I had a great time talking, thank you for listening!!!!!

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