Nelson Mandela Facts

July 18, 1918 – born Rolihlahla Mandela at Mvezo in the Transkei.

9 – Mandela’s age when his father died. He was then placed into the care of chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people (his father had been a counsellor to the Thembu royal family).

1941 – the year in which, aged 23, Mr Mandela fled an attempted arranged marriage and arrived in Johannesburg.

25 – the age at which he enrolled for a law degree at Witswaterand University, a primarily white institution. Mandela’s experiences of racism would later inspire and inform his political life.

1944 – the year in which Mr Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), before later co-founding the ANC Youth League.

1944 – the year he married his first wife, Evelyn Mase.

1952 – the year Mr Mandela qualified as a lawyer and, along with partner Oliver Tambo, opened a Johannesburg law practice, going on to campaign against apartheid, the system which divided whites and blacks in South Africa.


Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

“Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”

– Jacob Zuma, South African President

“South Africa and the world have lost a colossus and epitome of humility, equality, justice and peace. His life gives us the courage to push forward for development and progress towards ending hunger and poverty.”

– African National Congress

“I believe that his example will live on and that it will continue to inspire all South Africans to achieve his vision of non-racialism, justice, human dignity and equality for all.”

– FW de Klerk, Former South African President and joint-Nobel Peace Prize winner

“We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”

– Barack Obama, US President


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