Nelson Mandela was a political activist who believed in the human rights of all South Africans. Throughout his life, Nelson Mandela strived for social justice by leading a movement to unify a divided nation and reconcile decades of institutionalized racism created through the Apartheid system.
Nelson Mandela's role as a political activist in South Africa became apparent after he spent 27 years in prison. Following his release, he emerged as the most significant leader for Black South Africa and eventually became the first democratically elected president of South Africa at the age of 75.
While in office, Mandela spent his term transitioning South Africa into a democratic nation and resolving the racial tensions that were present at the time. He did not support imperialism, because he believed that it was another method in which Western nations could dominate other countries and maintain their perceived superiority.
ThinkProgress explains that Mandela believed that poverty was one of the greatest evils in the world and considered ending poverty a fundamental human duty. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said.