Share via Email Which world leader would you count as a hero? The young inspire — Barack Obama? Nelson Mandela, now celebrating his 90th birthday, is widely considered a saint. At last, he has done what Thabo Mbeki, his successor, refuses to do, in condemning the violence and poor leadership in Zimbabwe.
Well, for Nelson Mandela, this was no movie. Growing up in South Africa under the Apartheid system of government meant these things, and worse, were part of daily life. But Nelson Mandela was a fighter. Instead of bowing down to this unjust system of government, he became a lifelong warrior in the battle to free South Africa.
Mandela played a part in many dramatic demonstrations against the white-ruled government. His career in the ANC was cut short in when he was sentenced to life in prison.
The notorious Rivonia Trial, as his sentencing was called, is now seen as nothing more than a cruel ploy used by the white South African government to silence Nelson Mandela once and for all.
But even while in prison, Mandela continued to be a beacon of hope for his people who carried on the struggle against Apartheid in his absence. Inafter 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela was freed. His release marked the beginning of the end for apartheid.
In less than five years after his release, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and elected president of South Africa. Today, thanks to the self-sacrifice of Nelson Mandela, apartheid has been outlawed. Everyone in South Africa now has an equal opportunity at home and at work to live comfortable, productive lives.
I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.
But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
A great resource on Mandela. Several of the contributors to My Hero: Read their essays on myhero. For Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela is a hero because because he understands what it means to fight against enormous odds.
For Paul Rusesabagina, Nelson Mandela is a hero because he showed that words are much more powerful than weapons. Read More Related Books.In after 27 years, Nelson Mandela was released from prison and immediately went to work with the ANC to undo the damage done by apartheid.
South Africans were finally able to vote in elections that had candidates who were both black and white. Nelson Mandela's father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, was a local chief and councillor to the monarch; he was appointed to the position in , after his predecessor was accused of corruption by a governing white magistrate.
Why Is Nelson Mandela a Hero? Home History Modern History Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African freedom fighter, politician and philanthropist who worked tirelessly in the anti-apartheid campaign. Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country.
Nelson Mandela in traditional dress in Photograph: Apic/Getty Images His birth, into the royal house of the Thembu people, was central to the man. But Nelson Mandela could.
Born Rolihlahla, he was the first in his family to attend school where he was given the Christian name “Nelson.” He went onto university and .