Nelson Mandela: a hero, a fighter and human rights activist. Mandela was a non-violent, anti-apartheid activist who fought for change and strived to make the world a better place.
The Apartheid System:
In 1948, the National party gained power in South Africa and began enforcing policies of racial segregation, under a system called ‘apartheid’. People were forced to segregate, live in separate areas and work in separate areas according to the colour of their skin. The system was based on colour, with the whites overruling and remaining the highest power within South Africa, leaving those of other races to be treated as second or third-class citizens. This system remained for 50 years, despite people’s dismay and dislike towards it.
Mandela was one of the great leaders who wanted to make a change during the apartheid. He wanted to see an equal state and a place where freedom thrives in everyone’s blood. However, in 1962 he was given a life sentence in prison and served 27-years, after trying to overthrow the government. In a time where tensions were high, Mandela was accused of acts of violence, but this didn’t stop his ambition to make a change within the system. With a system that thrived in ignorance, Mandela was determined to make a change even within the prison cell. His supporters would constantly take to the streets in protest for freedom and the removal of apartheid; his words and what he stood for echoed past the prison walls.
After a long battle of trying to break free from the apartheid system, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize for finally breaking free from the corrupt system that ruled the nation for years. He later became the first black president, elected by the democratic system in South Africa. His presidency made history and showed the strength of the people in South Africa. Mandela ruled as president from 1994 to 1999 and worked towards helping grow the economy, while saving it from collapsing. Mandela aspired to change and help South Africa grow in every aspect. His long reign made history and is one many still remember to this day.
A man who never gave up, never gave in and constantly stood for change. His determination was shown even through his confinement of 27 years. Mandela never allowed anyone to change his beliefs and stood tall. He removed the apartheid system and changed a nation for the betterment of its people – a leader and true survivor that we mustn’t forget.
“Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Nelson Mandela will always be remembered as a hero and a light that changed a dark world. He taught us that in every darkness, there is a light waiting to be found and for that, we must always cherish and honor his legacy.