Nelson Mandela Biography

Nelson Mandela Biography

Known as the father of the nation in South Africa, Nelson Mandela changed the entire history of South Africa from a colonial country to a democratic country. Nelson Mandela was a staunch critic of Apartheid and racism in South Africa. Nelson Mandela has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in lieu of his work towards the eradication of Apartheid.

Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa
Died: December 5, 2013, Houghton Estate, South Africa
Movies and TV shows: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Death of Apartheid
Spouse: Graça Machel (m. 1998–2013)
Children: Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah, Makgatho Mandela
Books: Long Walk to Freedom, The Struggle Is My Life, Mandela


  • Nelson Mandela was born into a family whose ancestors had fought glorious battles for the nation. These heroic stories of his ancestors inspired Nelson Mandela to actively participate in the freedom struggle.
  • Nelson Mandela was the first in his family to enroll in a school and here he was given the name ‘Nelson’ by his teacher.
  • While studying at the University College of Forte Hare, Nelson Mandela participated in a boycott movement against the policies of the University. His activities led to Mandela’s expulsion from the University.
  • Nelson Mandela finally completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree through correspondence from Johannesburg.
  • It was at this time that Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress.
  • During his imprisonment, Nelson Mandela obtained the Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London external programme.


  • Nelson Mandela played a pivotal role in the formulation of the policies of the ANCYL and stressed on mass education and free and compulsory education for all children of South Africa.
  • Nelson Mandela was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and henceforth stood for nonviolent methods of struggle.
  • Nelson Mandela was also actively associated with the struggle for the introduction of Bantu education in schools and colleges.
  • Mandela was also the commander in chief of the newly constituted Spear of the Nation. In this new role, Nelson Mandela planned for a guerilla attack on the government and military.
  • In his bid to muster support from other nations, Nelson Mandela left South Africa illegally and this led to his imprisonment.
  • Alarmed at his growing popularity, Nelson Mandela was finally imprisoned for life in the Robben Island Prison.
  • Nelson Mandela continued his struggle against Apartheid from prison where he served for twenty seven years of his life.
  • On his release, Nelson Mandela vowed to the South African people that he would ensure peace and equality among the Blacks and bring about a democratically elected government in South Africa.
  • Finally he was elected the President of the African National Congress and from here Nelson Mandela went on to become the first democratically elected president of South Africa.


  • Nelson Mandela has been awarded with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize apart from other awards.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
― Nelson Mandela

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it's done.”
― Nelson Mandela

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