Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in a village called Mvezo in Umtata, South Africa’s Cape Province. He was educated as a lawyer, went to prison, became president of South Africa and died on 5th of December 2013.
1. An orphan at 9: Mandela was 9 years when he lost his father and was later adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, a regent of Thembu.
2. First to Attend School in His Family: He grew up in the village and was the first to attend school in his family. He was named Nelson at his elementary school by his missionary teacher.
3. Set-up First Black-run Law Firm in S.A. : He and his friend were the first to set up the first black-run law firm in South Africa in 1952.
4. From a Prisoner to a President: Mandela went to prison because of the apartheid struggle and spent 27 years in prison. He served just a term as a president of South Africa (unlike other African presidents).
5. Never Compromised his Struggle: He rejected 3 conditional offers of release while in prison; until he was released in 1990.
6. First Black President of South Africa: Mandela was the first black president of South Africa in 1994.
7. Over 600 Awards and Prizes: Mandela is the most decorated African in the world with over 600 awards, prizes, conferment and other honours.
8. HIV/AIDS Crisis: He admitted that his greatest mistake was not addressing the crisis of HIV/AIDs during his presidency.
9. Fought Apartheid in and out of Prison: He fought apartheid until the minority white gave power to the black majority in South Africa.
10. A Global Holiday in His Honour: The United Nations declared July 18, his birthday, as a Nelson Mandela International Day due to his legacy and community services.