Farewell To Nelson Mandela

Dec 8, 2013 By Pearl, Young Editor

To many of us, the notion of inequality is only a figment of our imagination. Most of us have never truly experienced segregation - not being able to go to school, vote, or live where we want because of our skin color or race.

Because of this, we often forget the times when all was different and leaders had to fight for the rights that we have now. This week, we mourn one such leader - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, South African revolutionary and champion of equal rights.

Mr. Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. South Africa has planned a week-long commemoration to honor the great man including a memorial service on Tuesday at the football stadium in Johannesburg where Mandela made his last public appearance.

Humble Roots

Young Mandela

Nelson Mandela was born in July of 1918, and given the clan name of Madiba. His father died when he was just nine, and Madiba was raised by the Chief of the Thembu tribe. Listening to tales of wars fought by his ancestors to free their homeland, and watching the Chief dispense justice to settle conflicts among tribe members, young Mandela was inspired.

Mandela decided to join the African National Congress (ANC), which fought for equal rights for Blacks and opposed the Afrikaans or Apartheid (segregationist) government. By then, he was practicing lawyer, providing free legal representation for blacks. Mandela led the militant wing of the ANC that protested against the policies of the Apartheid government.

The prison cell that was his home for 27 years

Eventually, these protests led Mandela to be imprisoned for attempted sabotage and treason. He spent 27 years in prison, from 1964 to 1990. While in prison, Mandela wrote a memoir titled Long Walk to Freedom, where he described his quest for social justice.

Mandela was freed after South Africa faced worldwide pressure and outcries for his release. Three years after regaining his freedom, Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize and became the President of South Africa the following year.

A Glorious Legacy

After serving only one term, Mandela stepped down and since then has spoken out for equality and for AIDS, an immune system disorder that is very common among African people. Even after his retirement, Mandela was constantly in the spotlight, willing to meet government leaders, performing artists and anyone else who sought his advice.

Mandela's life is a lesson for us all. He overcame many obstacles and emerged as a man with courage and integrity. He forgave the Apartheid government, realizing that the only way for South African society to live in harmony was to have a government that included everyone.

As we remember former President Mandela and his legacy, we must use his spirit and his words and apply them to our lives. Take the legacy of Mandela, and go forward with what you hope to achieve. As Madiba once said: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

Aditya08   18 weeks ago

Too bad he died.

gerryn   45 weeks ago

Mr.Mandela spent almost his whole life in a jail sell just for not doing what a white man told him to do so they through Mr.Mandlea in prision.Mr.Mandlea passed away on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

ananyab   47 weeks ago

Well, Nelson Mandela helped about alot in facing inequality and unjustice but Mandela's sprit still remains today in South Africa and America

aaditm   48 weeks ago

hes like the new martin king jr seriously I cant believe segregation was still going on.rip nelson mandela

joisy quiroz   48 weeks ago

aaww he worked so hard and finaly gave rights that black people could do what ever hes a hearo just like martin luther king jr this I very interesting

Kelsey123456   49 weeks ago

Rip what a hero!

megan3   49 weeks ago

it just sad

megan3   49 weeks ago

that sad he died

hope2   49 weeks ago

we will miss him

megan3   49 weeks ago


richard2   49 weeks ago

nelson madela day is done . rip nelson I hope you are in a safe place.

deryao   49 weeks ago

Nelson Mandela helped Africa a lot he shouldn't have died.Rest in peace Nelson Mandela

madalync   49 weeks ago

he was a leader of all people he was a hero

bronwynj   49 weeks ago

how sad

Flash   49 weeks ago

God used him to do AMAZING things in SA. Really proud to be a South African and to have been alive while he was here.

FuzzUzzle   49 weeks ago

Chill dude.

Percy Jackson   49 weeks ago

What an awesome farewell!!!! R.I.P

justice   49 weeks ago

rip rip rip just fell in the chair

Tressa   47 weeks ago

What does that mean?

Tressa   49 weeks ago


Rachel Catherine   49 weeks ago

Thank you, Nelson Mandela, for leaving this world a much better place then when you came into it. You are not a man who will be easily forgotten.

anishap   49 weeks ago

It's so sad he made such a big difference and was so smart and brave. R.I.P

madison8   50 weeks ago

i will never understand how hard it was to be him but i can imagine the bad things that happened to him,that made him stronger and braver.to fight for his country.i mean i could have never handled standing up against the government and standing up for his nation for equal rights.and going to jail for political rights just to prove a point.but im glad he did,because it helped our people become free to do anything.he's a brave man and if i was there,in that time i would have agreed for peoples right's to do all things white people can do.its amazing how he changed all of our lives and im proud to have him in this life i have.thank you,nelson mandela.

Olivia-Anna   49 weeks ago

Yeah. He will always be one of my role models. Now that he's gone, I feel like there's just something missing in the world. It's hard to believe that he'll never come back, singing and saying kind things to everyone. Goodbye Nelson Mandela.

isabellaf2   50 weeks ago

It's sooo sad. I feel proud for him! Segregation isn't fair anyways!

sarchita   50 weeks ago

I heard all about it in the news
Very Sad

Jon444   50 weeks ago

R.I.P Nelson Mandela, Rest In Peace

justice   50 weeks ago

nelson rip

markom   50 weeks ago

He was such a good man fighting for liberty.

jeffy   50 weeks ago

R.I.P He was so inspiring....

vishnuug   50 weeks ago


kirag   50 weeks ago


justinl2   50 weeks ago

it is sad

austinb3   50 weeks ago


Sindhu   50 weeks ago

I was really shocked when I read about this in the papers. Rest in peace!

snigdhav2   50 weeks ago

It is really sad having about an important person die. it is like seeing Obama die

Tucker   50 weeks ago

A full life

Iyana101   50 weeks ago

he was a great man!!

bronwynj   49 weeks ago

how sad of you to say that

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