During his time as the President of South Africa, Mandela developed an international reputation as an uncompromising, no-nonsense president. He was the first of his family to attend school. Rugged, Clever AND smart. His birth name was Rolihlahla meaning troublemaker.
He set aside the bitterness of enduring 27 years in apartheid prisons — and the weight of centuries of colonial division, subjugation and repression — to personify the spirit and practice of Ubuntu.
He perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper. That was his dream for South Africa and the hope that he represented the world over. If it was possible in South Africait was possible in Ireland, it was possible in Bosnia and Rwanda, it was possible in Colombia.
It is possible in Israel and Palestine. In the spirit of Ubuntu, Madiba was quick to point out that he alone could not take credit for the many accolades that came his way; that he was surrounded by people of integrity who were brighter and more youthful than himself.
That is only partially true. The truth is that the 27 years Madiba spent in the belly of the apartheid beast deepened his compassion and capacity to empathise with others.
On top of the lessons about leadership and culture to which he was exposed growing up in the care of AbaThembu Regent Jongintaba — and the experiences of developing a voice for young people in anti-apartheid politics, and physically prosecuting the struggle — prison seemed to add an understanding of the human condition.
Like a most precious diamond honed deep beneath the surface of the Earth, the Madiba who emerged from prison in February was virtually flawless.
Instead of calling for his pound of flesh, he proclaimed the message of forgiveness and reconciliation, inspiring others by his example to extraordinary acts of nobility of spirit. He embodied what he proclaimed — he walked the talk. He invited his former jailer to attend his presidential inauguration as a VIP guest and he invited the man who led the state's case against him at the Rivonia trialcalling for the imposition of the death penalty, to lunch at the presidency.
He visited the widow of the high priest of apartheid, Mrs Betsy Verwoerd, in the white Afrikaner-only enclave of Orania. He had a unique flair for spectacular, hugely symbolic acts of human greatness that would be gauche carried out by most others.
Who will forget the electrifying moment in the rugby World Cup final when he stepped out on the Ellis Park pitch with captain Francois Pienaar's No 6 on the Springbok jersey he was wearing?
It was a gesture that did more for nation building and reconciliation than any number of preacher's sermons or politician's speeches. Although always a team man, Madiba was also sufficiently comfortable in his own skin, in his own ability to determine right from wrong, that he displayed few of the insecurities associated with many politicians.
He was able to accept criticism — and even prepared to apologise when he felt he an apology was due. He had the moral and ethical courage, during and after his presidency, to do and say things that were not always in accordance with the official policy of his beloved ANC.
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its findings, some of which the ANC strongly opposed, Madiba had the grace to accept the report publicly. Another example was the establishment of South Africa's first rural Aids treatment site, by his foundation, at a time when the South African government was dithering and obfuscating in response to the pandemic.
When one of the TRC commissioners was accused in an amnesty hearing of being involved in the case before the commission, President Mandela appointed a judicial commission to investigate. Later, the president's secretary called me to get the contact details of the commissioner.
I realised that the president wanted to put him at ease, but I told the secretary that as the chairperson of the commission I should know the findings of the judicial commission first.
Within minutes, the president himself was on the line saying:Barack Obama described Nelson Mandela as ‘a hero for the world’ and it is difficult to think of another politician who was as admired globally as he was. Perhaps the only comparable figure is. Today it is most famous as the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison.
As a student of great leaders and an admirer of Nelson Mandela’s leadership, I knew that this visit was a must. A Moving Experience.
After a brief ferry ride, we boarded a bus to tour Robben Island. Find this Pin and more on Images of Nelson Mandela by Mandela Day Marathon. winnie and nelson mandela, - such a beautiful picture of two young people in love Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is intended to be the cinematic realisation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, has died aged Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African freedom fighter, politician and philanthropist who worked tirelessly in the anti-apartheid campaign.
He is a hero because he committed himself to the EXPLORE OTHER CATEGORIES. Biography Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela ( – ) was a South African political activist who spent over 20 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid regime; he was released in In , Mandela was later elected the first leader of a democratic South Africa.