Nelson Mandela Biography Project for Class 10

Nelson Mandela, a name synonymous with courage, resilience, and the fight against injustice, left an indelible mark on the pages of history. Born Rolihlahla Mandela on 18th July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in South Africa, he would grow up to become a beacon of hope for his nation and the world. In this biography, we delve into the life, struggles, and triumphs of this remarkable figure who served as a symbol of resistance against apartheid and later as the President of South Africa.

Early Life and Education

Nelson Mandela’s childhood was deeply influenced by his heritage and family. His father, Gadla Henry Mandela, served as a counselor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, imparting important lessons about leadership and justice. Tragedy struck when Nelson was only nine years old, as his father passed away. Raised by his mother and the regent of the Thembu, he learned the values of unity and resilience.

Nelson’s educational journey began at a local missionary school, where his teacher bestowed upon him the name “Nelson.” His quest for knowledge led him to Fort Hare University and later the University of Witwatersrand, where he pursued a degree in law, setting the stage for his future political endeavors.

Political Career

Mandela’s political journey started when he joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943. His swift rise through the ranks was a testament to his unwavering commitment to ending apartheid, a discriminatory policy that had oppressed black South Africans for decades.

In 1952, Mandela played a pivotal role in the Defiance Campaign, advocating for non-violent civil disobedience against apartheid. However, the path to justice was not without peril. In 1960, he was arrested and charged with treason, eventually receiving a life sentence. His imprisonment transformed him into a symbol of resistance against apartheid.

Full NameRolihlahla Mandela
Date of BirthJuly 18, 1918
Place of BirthMvezo, Transkei region, South Africa
Parents– Father: Gadla Henry Mandela
– Mother: Nosekeni Fanny Mandela
Education– Local missionary school
– Fort Hare University
– University of Witwatersrand (Studied law)
Political AffiliationAfrican National Congress (ANC)
Notable Movements– Defiance Campaign (1952)
– Anti-Apartheid Activism
ImprisonmentArrested in 1960, sentenced to life in prison
Release DateFebruary 11, 1990
Nobel Peace PrizeAwarded in 1993 (with F.W. de Klerk)
Presidency– Elected President in 1994
– Served one term (1994-1999)
Key Achievements– Ending apartheid and institutionalized racism
– Truth and Reconciliation Commission
– Advocated for peace and reconciliation
Post-Presidential WorkFounded Nelson Mandela Foundation
Date of DeathDecember 5, 2013
Age at Death95 years
LegacyGlobal icon of peace and justice

Release and Presidency

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 marked the beginning of a new era for South Africa. He led the ANC in negotiations with the apartheid government to dismantle the oppressive system peacefully. In recognition of his efforts, Mandela, along with President F.W. de Klerk, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

In 1994, South Africa held its first fully representative democratic elections, and Mandela was elected as President. During his presidency, he initiated measures to break down the apartheid legacy and promote racial reconciliation. Notably, he established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights abuses during apartheid.

Post-Presidency and Legacy

Nelson Mandela retired from politics in 1999 but continued his work on social justice issues through the Nelson Mandela Foundation. His commitment to justice, equality, and peace remained unwavering.

On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire people worldwide. He is celebrated as one of the most important figures of the 20th century, a global icon of peace and justice whose life exemplified the power of resilience, forgiveness, and unity in the face of adversity.

Nelson Mandela’s life is a testament to the ability of one person to bring about profound change in the world. His journey from a small South African village to the presidency of a nation serves as a beacon of hope for those fighting against oppression and injustice. In commemorating his life and legacy, we are reminded of the enduring power of compassion, reconciliation, and the unbreakable spirit of humanity.


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