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Global call to fight poverty and injustice on Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday


Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since his birth (18 July 1918). The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” One hundred years after his birth, Mandela’s example of courage and compassion continue to inspire the world.

Nelson Mandela remains a 20th Century icon as a champion of human rights, political activism, equality and peace. On what would have been his 100th birthday today (18 July 2018), people across the world are celebrating his legacy and calling for leaders to do more to tackle global injustice and poverty.

In 1962, Mandela was arrested for his activisim against South Africa’s racist apartheid system.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid state and served 27 years behind bars, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison, and Victor Verster Prison.

Amid growing domestic and international pressure - as well as increased fears of a racial civil war - then-president FW de Klerk released him in 1990. Three years after his release, he became the first black president of South Africa and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Five years after his death in 2013, he continues to provide inspiration in the face of adversity and injustice.

Paying tribute in an impassioned speech to mark the 100th anniversary, former US president Barack Obama ( told a cheering crowd of thousands in South Africa to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, diversity and tolerance. He said: ‘I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also paid tribute to the former South African leader in a visit to an exhibition about Mandela’s life in London.

Mandela’s former Robben Island prison mate Andrew Mlangeni, 93, said their visit shows the monarchy supported the anti-apartheid ‘struggle for freedom’.

Also Read: 8 brilliant books to commemorate Nelson Mandela's centenary