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English Essay/Paragraph/Speech on “Nelson Mandela” for Kids and Students for Class 8, 9, 10, Class 12 and Graduation Examination

Nelson Mandela

Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, a territory in Cape Province in South Africa. When he was only 12, his father Henry Gadla Mandela died. In 1941, he fled to Johannesburg, the world’s richest gold mining area, where he worked in mines.

The white-origin people in minority from various European countries had settled in South Africa over the centuries. They ruled the land as they chose treating the native black majority as slaves. Later, his country came under the direct British rule, denying all democratic rights to black Africans and coloured immigrants who formed the majority. Rather they introduced the policy of apartheid. The policy enforced racial segregation and denied all non-whites of their political rights, freedom of movement, residence and worship. Dr. Mandela under the flag of his political party African National Congress (ANC) struggled hard against apartheid and demanded self-rule.

In 1944, when Mandela was 26, he married Evelyn. His political career started the same year with the founding of the ANC Youth League. In 1950, he became the President of this Youth League.

Confrontation with the White Administration sharpened when he started defiance campaign in June 1952 and Mandela was jailed for nine months.

In 1956, Mandela was charged with treason. However, the charge failed and on March 29, 1961 he was acquitted. On August 5, 1962, he was again arrested along with Walter Sisulu and six others in Netal and was charged with inciting people to strike and for leaving the country without valid passport. In June 1964, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for plotting to overthrow the state. He was moved to Robben island prison.

There was mounting world pressure on South African Government to release Mr Mandela from prison, but it did not listen. Mandela, however, remained firm and undeterred. In January 1985, President P.W. Botha offered to release him if he renounced violence. But Mandela declined. It was only after his meeting with Mr. Botha and Mr. F. W. De Klark in June 1989 that a dialogue began that culminated in his release from prison after 27 years. After his release on February 11, 1990, he addressed a mammoth public meeting attended by over 50,000 people.

It was at this stage that Mandela (75) and De Klark (58) shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for working to dismantle apartheid peacefully since 1990.

Soon after in March 1990, he was named Deputy President of the ANC which then suspended the 29-year-long armed struggle. The year 1991 saw Mandela becoming the ANC President replacing Oliver Tambo. The year was important as it quickened the pace of discussion and negotiations for initiating political process. It was a most significant political sagacity when all white referendum voted overwhelmingly for political reforms.

As a visionary Mandela could peep into the events unfolding themselves in future. In September 1993, he declared that the countdown to democracy in South Africa had begun and he called for withdrawal of all sorts of sanctions (economic, political and commercial) imposed against his country.

Within three months, the multi-party negotiation panel set April 27, 1994 as the date of the first all-race democratic elections. In these elections, with a 40 million population, the ANC under the dynamic leadership of Mandela sweeped the polls (62.65% votes). A new era dawned in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was elected the first black President, head of the State by the national assembly. With the assumption of office by Mandela, a 342-year-old white domination came to an end. After his swearing in ceremony on May 10, 1994, he said, “Let us build a rainbow nation, at peace with itself and with others.”

After assuming the office of President, Dr. Nelson Mandela visited India as chief guest on the eve of Republic Day Celebration 1995. Many bilateral economic pacts were signed during his visit to India in January, 1995.

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