Q:

Who was Nelson Mandela, and what did he do?

A:

Quick Answer

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. In South Africa, he is often called "Madiba," which was the name of the clan he was born into.

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Who was Nelson Mandela, and what did he do?
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Full Answer

He became president of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in 1951 when he was involved in anti-apartheid activism. In 1964, Mandela was charged with sabotage and sentenced to life in prison.

Upon his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela began his ascent to great national and international acclaim. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Was Nelson Mandela a Christian?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, was a Methodist Christian. He was raised and schooled in the religion but kept his religious beliefs private throughout his historic struggle and subsequent victory over the forces of apartheid in South Africa.

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  • Q:

    What did Nelson Mandela accomplish?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, arguably one of the great leaders of the 20th century, served as president of South Africa, was a notable writer, accomplished lawyer and a civil rights activist. Mandela was born in Mveso, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He spent his childhood in South Africa, then left to pursue an education in the United States before returning to his home country to assume the role of president in 1994.

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  • Q:

    What was Nelson Mandela fighting for?

    A:

    As a native African living in South Africa under apartheid, the government system of imposed segregation in which non-native white residents of South Africa were treated as fundamentally superior to black natives, Nelson Mandela's initial cause was focused on bringing about the end of apartheid and systematic racial oppression in his home country. Apartheid came to an end in the 1990s, and in 1994, Mandela was elected as the first black chief executive of South Africa in the nation's first full, democratic election. When Mandela's presidential term ended in 1999, his focus shifted from issues within his own nation to general human rights issues across the globe.

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  • Q:

    How many years was Nelson Mandela imprisoned?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of which were spent at the infamously cruel Robben Island Prison in South Africa, where he was held from 1964 - 1982. Mandela was released from imprisonment in 1990 despite having initially been handed a life sentence. At the time of his imprisonment, South Africa was ruled by the white supremacist system of apartheid, in which native black Africans were officially considered inferior in every way to colonial European citizens, also known as Afrikaners. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary who eventually became the first president of South Africa, and he was initially imprisoned on charges of incitement before being charged with conspiracy to overthrow the state in what is known as the Rivonia Trial.

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