Today is a sad day across the world. Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. (1918-2013) Here is the sad announcement from the South African president.
Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, South Africa was a bad place to live. The nation was undergoing the apartheid campaign, which discriminated against people of color. People of color had to struggle through segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and black people was provided with services inferior to those of white people. Black people could not vote and were not even citizens of South Africa. Even residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. It was a tough time for South Africa.
Nelson Mandela did not agree to these conditions and was a part of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of sabotageand conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served 27 years in prison, mostly on Robben Island. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela worked to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he was elected as the first colored president of South Africa. He formed a Government of National Unity in an attempt to defuse ethnic tensions. As President, he promulgated a new constitution and made sure people of all colors were treated equally and with respect.
Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest humans to ever live. He did not care about what other people thought about him. He felt in his heart that everyone, no matter what their skin color was, deserved to be free. He brought the entire nation of South Africa back together and in the nation he is often described as “the father of the nation”. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was always joyful and championed peace, we all should live in peace!
I want to share a couple of powerful quotes from this great man.
“Sport has the power to change the world… it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Here are some great videos to learn about the life of Nelson Mandela. May he rest in peace.