NELSON MANDELA Biography - Polititians


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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, (born July 18, 1918) before becoming President of South Africa, was one of its chief anti-apartheid activists, and was also an anti-apartheid saboteur. He is now almost universally considered to be a heroic freedom fighter. He spent his childhood in the Thembu chiefdom before embarking on a career in law.


The name Madiba is an honorary title adopted by older male members of Mandela’s clan; however, in South Africa the title is synonymous with Nelson Mandela.


Early life


Nelson Mandela was born in Tembu in the Transkei on 18 July 1918. He then moved to Qunu where he lived until he was 9 years old. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa Gadla, chief of Tembu, a tiny village on the banks of the Mbashe River. At the age of seven, Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend school, where he was given the English name "Nelson" by a Methodist teacher. His father died when he was 10, and Nelson attended a Wesleyan mission school next door to the palace of the Regent. Following Xhosa custom he was initiated at age 16, and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute, learning about Western culture. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three.


At age 16, in 1934, Mandela moved to the Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort, which most Thembu royalty attended, and took an interest in boxing and running. After matriculating, he began a B.A. at the Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, who became a lifelong friend and colleague.