Nelson Mandela is known as a strong and purposeful fighter against racism and apartheid, the protector of the oppressed populations of South Africa. He is an honorable winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first South African President, who came to power through the democratic elections (The life and times of Mandela, n. d.).
Ethnically, Mandela originated from Thembu nation, and his background and self-identification with the people of Thembu and their values served as the basis for his political views (The life and times of Mandela, n. d.). Mandela’s political goal was to win freedom for his nation, preserving the authenticity and uniqueness of its culture. His political journey began with the participation in an activist movement of radical character through which he became associated with the African National Congress in 1943 (The life and times of Mandela, n. d.).
Several years later, Mandela engaged in a battle with apartheid and racial segregation that were enforced by the newly elected South African leaders coming from the National Party (Nelson Mandela, 2014). Initially, the protest he was a part of was a peaceful action, yet after a while the situation aggravated, and the protesters were attacked by the shooters. The activists responded with an armed action which led to the arrest and imprisonment of Mandela. His was first sentenced to five years in jail, and after several years the decision was made to incarcerate Mandela for life due to his participation in and planning of an armed protest (Nelson Mandela, 2014).
Mandela’s imprisonment has not affected his desire for self-actualization. He managed to improve his education learning Afrikaans and the Afrikaner history, communicating with the guards, and even earning a Bachelor of Law degree doing a long distance educational program of the University of London (Nelson Mandela Biography, 2015). Even incarcerated, Mandela remained the symbol of strength, will-power, and dignity as never gave up his beliefs and values. He remained unbent even though his jailers offered him to shorten his sentence in exchange for Mandela’s acceptance of their policies (Nelson Mandela, 2014).
Knowing about Mandela’s imprisonment, the world’s community began to pressure the South African government to release the freedom fighter and stop the dictatorship. The leaders finally gave in when their President Botha was replaced by a peer de Klerk after experiencing a serious stroke. Mandela’s release strengthened his impact on the South African society and the world in general, as he kept on promoting the equality in the country, the freedoms and rights of the black community, and a constitutional reform that could make all of these changes possible. The African National Congress and its armed resistance were there to support Mandela’s fight.
The following negotiations between the African National Congress and the President’s de Klerk’s party concerning the equal rights for the black and white populations of South Africa were complicated by the disagreement of some of the black communities who were not willing to share the freedoms, but to shift the balance completely making the while society rightless just like the black one used to be (Nelson Mandela Biography, 2015). The negotiating leaders struggled to maintain peace in the country as the black and white communities went into a clash.
Regardless of all the pressures and difficulties, Mandela and de Klerk managed to establish balance between the two sides and became the co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for preventing a civil war, embracing democracy, and leading their black and white countrymen towards agreement and equality.
Nelson Mandela. (2014). Web.
Nelson Mandela Biography. (2015). Web.
The life and times of Mandela. (n. d.). Web.