Nelson Mandela

Article excerpt

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela began the sojourn of becoming a highly respected world citizen, in Qunu, a village near Umtata in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was the Chief Councillor to Thembuland's Acting Paramount Chief. Following his father's death, young Mandela became the Chief's ward and was groomed for the high office of chieftainship. Influenced by the cases that came before the Chief's court. Mandela set his vision on becoming a lawyer and making his own contributions to the freedom struggle of his people.

After receiving a primary education at Healdtown Methodist Boarding School, Nelson Mandela matriculated at a reputable Wesleyan secondary school. He worked toward the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University College of Fort Hare, where he was elected to the Students Representative Council, participated in a student strike and was expelled. He went to Johannesburg where he completed his B.A. degree work by correspondence, did articles of clerkship and commenced studying for the Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Mandela entered politics in earnest by joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1942. He helped to establish the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944; promoted the principle of self-determination; fashioned and passed a Programme of Action that advocated the use of boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience and non-cooperation; established as an agenda the attainment of full citizenship and direct parliamentary representation for South Africans; assisted in writing important policies related to redistribution of land, trade union rights, free and compulsory education for all children and mass education for adults. …