Saturday, February 26, 2011

A tribute to the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela as flashed on the f.b. on Feb.26,2011.

.Remove PostBishwa Nath Singh

Let us rememember the towering personality of the world who had distinction to be the South Africa's eleventh president and its first democratically elected president and one who before his election to the presidency, he had protested against apartheid by leading the African National Congress and was imprisoned for twenty seven years on a charge of sabotage for his work with the ANC.! He was none else than Nelson Mandela belongs to a cadet branch of the Thembu dynasty, which reigns in the Transkeian Territories of South Africa's Cape Province who was born July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a small village located in the district of Umtata, the Transkei capital.Let us have glimpse of his life and pay our rich tribute to him!


(Photo of Nelson Mandela)

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Bishwa Nath Singh :
His given name Rolihlahla means to pull a branch of a tree or more trouble maker.Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend a school, where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name Nelson.When he was nine..., his father had passed away of tuberculosis, and the regent, Jongintaba, became his GuardianBefore his election to the presidency, Nelson Mandela protested against apartheid by leading the African National Congress (ANC). He was jailed for twenty seven years on a charge of sabotage for his work with the ANC.The apartheid government deemed him a terrorist at the same time he was becoming a hero to anti-apartheid groups. Nelson Mandela was seen internationally as being responsible for helping to end apartheid. In 1993, three years after his freedom from the confines of jail, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace PrizeSouth Africans call Nelson Mandela either "mkhulu" which means grandfather, or Madiba, the Mandela family name for a respected elder. Nelson Mandela was given his first name by a school teacher who had trouble saying his actual first name, Rolihlahla. She called him "Nelson" after Horatio Nelson, the British admiral. Mandela was seven years old when he started school and was the first one in his family to go to school.Nelson Mandela finished the three year Junior Certificate program at the Clarkebury Boarding Institute, a missionary school, in only two years. He attended the University of South Africa (UNISA) and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree while clerking in a law firm. Apartheid was a way of life in the 1950's, given the political climate of South Africa. Mandela and his friend and law partner, Oliver Tambo, did pro bono and reduced cost legal work for blacks. They were also involved in the cause against apartheid, believing that blacks and whites should not be segregated.Nelson Mandela, along with a group of anti-apartheid protesters, was arrested on the charge of treason in 1956. The whole group was acquitted. Mandela soon gave up on non-violent protests as these tactics were not successful and the opposition's violence was only getting worse. Seeing no other way, Mandela led an armed division of the ANC. Mandela's violent strategy amounted to human rights violations, since the guerrilla warfare by the ANC killed many civilians, but he insisted it was the only way to end apartheid.Nelson Mandela was arrested 5 August 1962 and released from prison 2 February 1990. Pro-apartheid South African president, P.W. Botha, had a stroke in 1989 and Botha's replacement, Frederik Willem de Klerk, freed Mandela. Botha had once offered Nelson Mandela release from jail in 1985, but only on the condition that Mandela would stop the armed conflict. Nelson Mandela chose to stay in prison as he believed it was the right thing to do in order to put an end to apartheid. He is one of the world’s most revered statesmen, Nelson Mandela led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a non-racial democracy. He was inspired from a young age by his own elders’ courage during the wars of resistance and resolved at that time to support the freedom struggle of his people.As a law student Mandela was active in student politics and he joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943. By 1952 he was leading national anti-apartheid activities, and opened the country’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo. Throughout the 1950s he was banned, arrested and imprisoned for his activities. In the early 1960s he worked in the underground resistance movement and also travelled abroad. In 1962, shortly after his return to South Africa, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to five years in prison. While in prison he was also charged with sabotage and the Rivonia trial, as it has come to be known, was where Mandela made one of his most famous statements. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”In 1964 he was jailed for life and spent twenty seven years in prison. In 1985, from prison, he began talks with the apartheid government which evolved into a dialogue and eventually, his release. On his release in 1990, Mandela again moved to the leadership of his people’s liberation struggle. In 1991 he was elected leader of the ANC. In 1994 the country’s first non-racial elections were held – the first time that Mandela himself was able to vote in his own country. He was elected President and served a five year term. Since stepping down as President in 1999, Mandela has become South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning in the fight against HIV/AIDS.He was also active in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Fondly known in South Africa by his clan name ‘Madiba’, Mr. Mandela remains an inspiration to all those around the world fighting injustice and oppression. He had distinction to serve as the President of South Africa from May 10, 1994 to June 14,1999 and the nineteenth Secretary General of Non-Alignment Movement from September 2,1998 to June 14,1999. He had married thrice ,two of his spouses were Evelyn Ntoko Mase from 1944 to 1957, and Winnie Madikizela from 1957 to 1998 and later ,they were separated and the third one Graça Machel from 1998 who is continuing. As he has been married three times, has fathered six children, has twenty grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren. He is grandfather to Chief Mandla Mandela. Mandela became the oldest elected President of South Africa when he took office at the age of seventy five in 1994. He decided not to stand for a second term and retired in 1999, to be succeeded by Thabo Mbeki.After his retirement as President, Mandela went on to become an advocate for a variety of social and human rights organisations. He has expressed his support for the international Make Poverty History movement of which the ONE Campaign is a part.The Nelson Mandela Invitational charity golf tournament, hosted by Gary Player, has raised over twenty million rand for children's charities since its inception in 2000.This annual special event has become South Africa's most successful charitable sports gathering and benefits both the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Gary Player Foundation equally for various children's causes around the world. On 18 July 2007, Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu convened a group of world leaders in Johannesburg to contribute their wisdom and independent leadership to address the world's toughest problems. Mandela announced the formation of this new group, The Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday Mandela Day on 18 July is an annual international day adopted by the United Nations. Individuals, communities and organizations are asked to donate sixty seven minutes to doing something for others, commemorating the sixty seven years that Nelson Mandela gave to the struggle for social justice Mandela has received many South African, foreign and international honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 In 2001, he was the first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen In 1990 he received the Bharat Ratna award from the Government of India and also received the last ever Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union. In 1992 he was awarded the Atatürk Peace Award by Turkey. He refused the award citing human rights violations committed by Turkey at the time but had later accepted the award in 1999. In 1992 he had received of Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civil service award of Pakistan. Let us pay our floral tribute to this great towering personality and wish him speedy recovery!

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