If there are people who always work for peace and social justice with patience and determination, then the figure who stands out as a brilliant world leader is Nelson Mandela. As someone who devoted much of his adult life to protecting and defending human rights, he was jailed for 27 years for his activities as an anti-apartheid and independence leader.
Who exactly is Nelson Mandela? The following will be explained briefly about the life history of a major figure after being imprisoned for 27 years.
Nelson Mandela is perhaps one of the most popular among the many political figures and statesmen who have been convicts. He is a prominent anti-apartheid activist, the separation of rights between whites and natives, in South Africa.
His political activities and idealism as a South African son led him to languish in bars in 1964. During his detention, Nelson suffered various penalties, ranging from slave workers to being denied contact with the outside world.
Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918, with the full name Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. His father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was an Adviser to the High Court in Thembuland, under the supreme leader David Dalindyebo. After his father died, Mandela was guided by the highest minister and educated to be a leader. Then, he occupies the position of the father. He is expected to hold an even higher position. However, because the cases that occur often have apartheid political background, he then makes sure he becomes a lawyer.
Mandela dreams of making a contribution in creating freedom for black people. He felt the pain and cruelty of apartheid politics. This injustice moves his heart to pursue politics and law. So, after completing his basic education, he went to Healdtown to continue his education at Fort Hare University. In 1942 he joined The African National Congress. Because of this political activity, he was hit by city prisoners and completed his education through letters or correspondence.
In 1944 Mandela formed the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC Youth League), whose program of activities had been established by the ANC party in 1949. He was appointed as the Chair of the National Voluntary for a program known as the Defiance Campaign in 1952. He had exploring a country in waging a spirit of opposition to apartheid laws. That same year, Mandela and Tambo grew the first black Guaman Firm in South Africa, with the aim of helping blacks who were oppressed by white cruelty laws.
In this anti-apartheid movement, Mandela received a lot of support from his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Because of this support, Winnie is often a victim. Also because of his political activities, Mandela was ruled by the court banned from participating in all forms of political gatherings and subjected to city arrest for 6 months. His legal practice was not immune from the political treatment of apartheid. The local government demanded that Mandela move his practice from the city center to the suburbs. That way, his client cannot come to his office. At that time, Mandela said, that was tantamount to asking them to stop their practice, stop legal services to their people. So, he was determined to oppose the rule of law.
When the trial was held in 1964, despite having submitted a historic defense for 4 hours, Mandela was still found guilty of violating anti-Communist laws, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The following are the last two sentences in a historic defense in court:
“I have fought against white domination. And I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is on an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs to be, it is an ideal for which I am preparing to die “
Although Mandela was imprisoned, he continued to be a symbol of black resistance, and organized an international campaign demanding liberation. In contrast, in the 27 years imprisoned, Mandela managed to revive the world against apartheid politics. He gradually became a symbol of equality of rights and justice. After serving 27 years in detention, his name has also skyrocketed and is popular. Perhaps, of the many prominent figures who have been imprisoned, only Mandela whose name shone more after being released from prison. Mandela was released in 1990, and succeeded in eliminating the politics of apartheid in South Africa through a negotiation. Then, he was elected as President of South Africa from 1994-1999, and abandoned his militant idealism. He did a lot of reconciliation efforts and made laws and regulations to prevent poverty and injustice in his country.
Then, what was it like and how was the story of Mandela serving his 27-year sentence?
While in detention, Mandela has a habit of watching the sunset while listening to classical music Handel or Tchaikovsky. With his prison mate, he sometimes holds concerts when the situation allows, especially at Christmas. The most regrettable thing is that after being released from Robben Island prison in 1990, he forgot to say goodbye to the prison guard.
Mandela was released from prison at the age of 71 years. He returned to the political arena with hopes of a fundamental change in the socio-political field in South Africa. In 1994, he was elected as president of South Africa in the first election for all races at the age of 75. His political career became more brilliant after he got out of prison, but not so with his personal life. He suffered a divorce from his wife, Winnie Madikizela, in 1996. Previously, in 1991, Winnie was found guilty of kidnapping and violence. And, again, last year, Winnie was involved in a $ 120,000 fraud and theft case in an organization he leads, the African National Congress Women’s League. However, in 1998, right on his 80th birthday, Mandela married Graca Machel, the widow of former Mozambican President Samora Machel.
In 1993, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize with the President of South Africa, F.W. de Clerk, Then, in June 1999, he stepped down from the presidency, replaced by President Thabo Mbeki. Nevertheless, Mandela remains a revered figure, bringing an extraordinary transition from a tyrannical country to a democracy with a promise of peace that saves the South African nation from bloody violence.
Mandela never tired of fighting for democracy and equal rights. Despite facing many challenges, he never responded to racist actions with racist actions. His life has been an inspiration in South Africa and throughout the world, to all who oppose oppression and deprivation.