Nelson Mandela Day: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Late Former South African President
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each 18 July (on Mandela's birthday). The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.
In a celebration of 96th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela, Latin Times has collected ten facts about the life and legacy of Mandela to not only remember him in death but celebrate his life's work.
- Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. He has 5 children, Zindziswa, Zenani, Makgatho, Makaziwe, and Madiba Thembekile.
- Nelson Mandela's birth name is Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela, he was given the name 'Nelson' by a school teacher. He is also referred to as "Madiba," which is his traditional clan name.
- Mandela is referred to as "the world's most famous political prisoner" and "South Africa's Great Black Hope."
- Mandela studied at the University of South Africa, where he earned a degree in Law in 1942. Ten year later in 1952, Mandela opened the first black law partnership in South Africa with his friend, Oliver Tambo.
- Mandela was the president of the ANC Youth League and also in 1952 he lead the Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws, a program of nonviolent mass resistance.
- Mandela served 27 years in prison, first on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990.
- Once released for prison in 1990, Mandela worked to eradicate apartheid and in 1994 he became the first black president of South Africa. Mandela formed a multi-ethnic government, which oversaw South Africa as it transitioned into The Government of National Unity.
- Mandela won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize in Norway, shortly after receiving the Liberty Medal from US President Bill Clinton.
- Mandela found Gandhi his role model. According to some, Mandela is like Mahatma Gandhi, a statesman of international repute and a man whose belief in non-violence impressed the whole nation.
- Mandela retired in June of 1999, he sought a quiet family life, and divided his time between Johannesburg and Qunu.