Nelson Mandela
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Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – An Inspiring story of a Leader

Just like every morning, I am at the breakfast table—my favorite time of the day—sitting with my husband, a nice cup of tea, and a lot of talking, brainstorming, and exchange of ideas. He had just read about the riots in the U.S. and we were discussing how disheartening it is to know that racism is still a big issue, even in one of the most developed countries in the world.

The extent of violence and disruption it caused, that too in the middle of a pandemic, was beyond my imagination. I am neither black nor white, but still, these protests disturbed me. Why after so many years of independence are we still fighting against injustice, inequality, and equal rights in society?

Usually, for centuries, whites have been considered good, well-behaved, innocent, and blacks dangerous and criminal. But aren’t we all created by God whom we all believe in who didn’t discriminate amongst us? Then who are we to distinguish amongst people?

This got me thinking about a great leader who fought against racism and inequality for the black population. Nelson Mandela—a leader, a revolutionary, and a philanthropist. I got to read about his extraordinary life, his struggles, and the hard work he has put in to bring freedom, peace, and justice; truly an inspiration for many of us in these crazy and unpredictable times. Nelson Mandela is the world’s most admired, the most inspirational, encouraging, enlivening historical figure.

Nelson Mandela—As a Leader,

Rolihlahla Mandela is now known to the world as Nelson Mandela always believed that Education was the most powerful weapon which could change the world. He led an extraordinary life. At a very small age, when he was in his teens, he lost his father. He was only 12 years old. He was then adopted and raised by the regent of the Tembu tribe.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

In his early days, Nelson Mandela studied law. While studying law he got involved in the movement against racial discrimination. He traveled extensively throughout the country during his law firm days to encourage people to use non-violent means to protest discriminatory laws. He was also arrested multiple times for incitement to strike, leaving the country illegally, and treason.

In the year 1962, Nelson Mandela was in captivity. There began his 27 years of life imprisonment. There was discrimination even behind bars. But even this did not deter him from practicing what he preached. Although in prison, he became a symbol of the Boycott movement among South Africa’s black population.

Nelson Mandela—As a  Revolutionary Leader:

As soon as Mandela was released in February 1990, he instantly became of global hero. The first multiracial parliamentary elections took place in 1994 and the ANC won by majority with Nelson Mandela becoming the first black President of South Africa. Despite being mistreated, he wanted black and whites to live in harmony. He never answered racism with racism. As the President, he designed various programs to improve race relations and the standard of living of South Africa’s black population.

Nelson Mandela, as the President:

He designed various programs to improve race relations and the standard of living of South Africa’s black population. He had a tough challenging life, but he kept on fighting for his people for all the years of his life. He was not a saint, just a human, like all of us but he was extraordinary with the work that he did.

Relentlessly he continued his work for most of his life for the black people.

Today, as I think of a great leader like Nelson Mandela with fond memories; his inspiration offers hope and life. There are very few leaders like him who are ready to fight for the common man’s rights against all odds. Even in our country, haven’t we seen people facing injustice in the name of religion, caste, gender, socio-economic status, and so on?

In today’s world, rich people have all the control and the common man and poor have become unknown slaves to the system. In the name of development, the Government enforces huge taxes and people are forced to pay them. Inequitable and unjust development is at its peak and the common man is deprived of the freedom to question these policies. We have a chance to prove that the youth will no longer allow this racism and inequality, and we will fight this injustice.

The revolutionary movements like #Black Lives Matter are our fight too! The Fight against disrespect, ignorance, inhumanity, inequality, and ignorance to others. Today we have an opportunity to give back and stand against injustice and inequality.

As Nelson Mandela rightly quoted,
“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is therefore, why i will sleep for eternity.”

What do you think?

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Written by Pallavi Fernandes

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