Who was Nelson Mandela for Kids

Nelson Mandela was a civil rights leader in South Africa. He fought against Apartheid, a system for non-white citizens to be segregated from whites and not have equal rights

Nelson Mandela’s Short Biography for School

Nelson Mandela was a civil rights leader in South Africa. He fought against Apartheid, a system for non-white citizens to be segregated from whites and not have equal rights. He served a large portion of his life in prison because of his protests, he became a symbol for the people of him. He would later become the president of South Africa.

Summary about Nelson Mandela

  • Occupation: President of South Africa and Activist.
  • Born: July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa.
  • Died: December 5, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Best known for: Serving 27 years in prison as a protest against Apartheid.
Summary about Nelson Mandela for kids
Summary about Nelson Mandela

Where was Nelson Mandela born?

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa. His birth name of Rolihlahla. He got the nickname of Nelson from a teacher at school. Nelson was a member of the Thimphu royalty and his father was head of the city of Mvezo. He went to school and then attended college at the University of Fort Hare and then the University of the Witwatersrand. In the Witwatersrand, Mandela obtained his law degree and would meet some of his anti-Apartheid activist colleagues.

Where did Nelson Mandela grow up?

Nelson Mandela’s Childhood

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, in a rural town in the Transkei region of South Africa. His name means “troublemaker or troublemaker” in the Xhosa language. A teacher at a Christian mission school later gave him the name of Nelson. Mandela rose from a humble mud village to a comfortable life as Chief Tembu’s adopted son.

As a young man, Mandela studied at the University of Fort Haze and the University of the Witwatersrand. In the Witwatersrand, Mandela obtained his law degree and met fellow future anti-Apartheid activists. In the 1940s, Mandela entered a turbulent world of South African racial politics by joining the liberation movement known as the African National Congress (ANC).

The Origins of Apartheid. Apartheid’s Roots

Since the arrival of the Dutch and British settlers in the 1600s and 1700s, black South Africans – and all people of color in South Africa – have been steadily pushed out of power. Racist policies of European-dominated governments took away their basic human rights. By 1950, Afrikaners (white South Africans of Dutch descent) were in control of the government and enacted modern Apartheid law. Under this system, black South Africans could not have a voice in government, socialize with whites, or travel outside their housing area without government approval.

Read also: What is Apartheid

Mandela’s Activism and Imprisonment: Summary

Mandela was a founding member of the African National Congress Youth League and later became second-in-command. Through this group, Mandela was able to take organized political action against apartheid. In the 1950s, he was the leader of the African National Congress. The South African government considered him an enemy.

In 1963, the government put Mandela on trial for treason, sentencing him to life. Through this imprisonment, Mandela continued to work to end Apartheid by sending secret messages from his cell on Robben Island.

Nelson Mandela Activist and Leader of a New South Africa

On February 2, 1990, 27 years after Mandela was imprisoned. South African President Frederik Willem removed the annulment from the ANC and freed Mandela. The two men had held meetings about his release while Mandela was in prison. Three years later, Mandela and Klerk were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, Mandela using the joint award to show forgiveness and that reconciliation was possible in deeply racially and politically divided South Africa.

In 1994, Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa. He focused his presidency on building peace and unity in his country. In 1999, at the end of his term as president. Mandela chose not to seek re-election. He remained politically active however, working to promote peace throughout Africa and to draw attention to social injustice and the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Nelson Mandela's Short Biography for School
Nelson Mandela’s Short Biography for School

He was married three times, had six children and 17 grandchildren.

In 2009, an abridged version of Mandela’s 1995 autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom, was published for children. That same year, the United Nations declared his birthday as International Nelson Mandela Day.

What did Nelson Mandela fight for?

Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison trying to overthrow the pro-apartheid government. After he left prison, he worked to achieve human rights and a better future for all in South Africa.

What did Nelson Mandela fight for?
What did Nelson Mandela fight for?

What did Nelson Mandela do to end Apartheid?

Nelson Mandela became the leader of the African National Congress. At first, he pushed hard for Congress and Protestants to follow the approach non-violent act of Mahatma Gandhi. At a certain point, he began to doubt that this approach would work and started an armed branch of the CNA. He planned to bomb certain buildings, but only the buildings. He wanted to make sure no one got hurt. He was classified as a terrorist by the South African government and sent to prison. Mandela would spend the next 27 years in prison. His sentence brought international visibility to the anti-apartheid movement. He was finally released under international pressure in 1990. Once released from prison, Nelson continued his campaign to end apartheid. His hard work and life effort paid off when he was allowed to vote for all races in the 1994 election. Nelson Mandela won the election and became president of South Africa. There were several moments during the process where violence threatened to break out. Nelson was a great influence in keeping calm and in avoiding a civil war.

What is Nelson Mandela famous for?

Nelson Mandela was a tireless campaigner for equality and justice who spent 27 years in prison for his beliefs.

In 1994 he became the first president of South Africa to be elected by his people, both black and white. He worked hard to dismantle the old racist system of government and to make South Africa a just society for all its citizens.

He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and 250 other awards for his bravery and courage.

How long was Nelson Mandela in prison?

He spent 27 years in prison. He refused to abandon his principles to be released and stated that he would die for his ideals. He wanted all people of all races to have equal rights in South Africa.

Facts about Nelson Mandela

• July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day. People are asked to spend 67 minutes helping others. The 67 minutes represent 67 years that Mandela spent serving his country.

• Invictus was a 2009 film about Nelson Mandela and the South African Rugby team. He had 6 children and 20 grandchildren.

• Nelson Mandela was born in 1918, the son of a Thembu chief.

• Nelson Mandela was the first member of his family to go to school. He recognized that education was very important and later campaigned for all South African children to have access to education.

• Mandela spent most of his life fighting racial prejudice and seeking equal rights for black people. He became a lawyer and fought against injustice.

• The African National Congress was formed in 1912 and aimed to unite Africans in the fight for change and equal rights.

Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942 and was involved in recruiting its Youth League.

• In 1948 the racist Nationalist Party of South Africa introduced a new policy of Apartheid or separatism. This was that whites and blacks had to live, learn and spend their free time separately. Only whites could vote in elections and they held the majority of power and wealth in the country.

• To challenge this apartheid policy the African National Congress started a campaign of civil disobedience. This meant disobeying the government, strikes and other types of peaceful protests.

• In 1963 Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for political offenses. He served 27 years as a prisoner, 18 of them on Robben Island.

• In 1993 Mandela and the white president of South Africa F.W. de Klerk shared a Nobel Peace Prize

• In 1994 the first elections where all people could vote were held in South Africa. Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.

• Mandela’s parents named him “Rolihlahla” which means “pull a tree branch” or “he causes trouble”

• Mandela was the first in his family to go to school. His teacher gave him the name of Nelson at age 7.

• Nelson Mandela fled to Johannesburg when his adoptive father, the leader of the Thembu, announced that she had arranged a marriage for him. Mandela was married three times and had six children.

• As a young man, Mandela enjoyed boxing and running.

• The law firm Mandela & Tambo was the first black law firm in South Africa.

• While he was on Robben Island he was only allowed one visitor and one letter every 6 months.

• Mandela’s book “The Long Walk to Freedom” was written in secret while he was still a prisoner.

• A nuclear particle, a spider and a woodpecker are named after him.

• Mandela was the inspiration for the poem, Invictus, by Williams Ernest Henley. He was inspired by the Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi.

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