I was sorry to hear about the passing of Nelson Mandela this week but I am glad to see so many countries honoring this great man. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to visit South Africa. It’s a beautiful country; and Nelson Mandela brought the people of South Africa together to fight poverty and promote peace and reconcillliation.
Did you know that July 18th is Mandela Day? On this day people are asked to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day. Mandela Day began in 2009 and July 18 is the day Nelson Mandela was born.
Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The Mandela Day campaign message is: “Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honored if such a day can serve to bring together peope around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconcillliation.”
If you’d like to learn more about this great man, Mandela wrote a autobiography call Long Walk to Freedom.
I will remember Nelson Mandela as a remarkably intelligent and kind man.
In our workbook English Reading Comprehension for the Spanish Speaker Book 6, there is a story about Nelson Mandela.
Remembering Nelson Mandela
Do you know what apartheid means? It was a system of racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 to 1993. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected president in the first democratic election in South Africa’s history in which all races were allowed to vote.
Nelson Mandela’s real name is Rolihlahla Mandela. At the age of seven, Mandela was the first member of his family to attend school. A Methodist teacher who found Mandela’s native name difficult to pronounce gave him the name “Nelson.” When Mandela was nine, his father who was a counselor to the Thembu royal family died of tuberculosis. Nelson was placed in the care of the acting Regent of the royal Thembu family. Nelson received a good education and was destined to inherit his father’s position as privy counselor. However, when his guardian announced that he had arranged a marriage for Mandela, Nelson chose to flee the comforts of the Regent’s estate and go to Johannesburg. Mandela worked at a law firm and completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa via correspondence courses.
In 1943, Mandela joined the African National Congress. After the 1948 election victory of the National Party with its apartheid policy of racial segregation, Mandela was prominent in the ANC campaign against apartheid. Education, medical care, and other public services were segregated, and those available to black people were of an inferior standard. Resistance to apartheid grew when blacks were told where they could live and work. In 1960 the ANC was outlawed. Eventually, Mandela was arrested and charged with attempting to violently overthrow the government. After twenty-seven years in prison, the pressures from the world community against apartheid produced results, and in 1990 the president of South Africa lifted the ban on the ANC; and Mandela was released from prison. Following his release from prison in 1990, his switch to a policy of reconciliation and negotiation helped lead the transition to multi-racial democracy in South Africa.
In 1993, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize. His policy of reconciliation and negotiation with people who he had fought against has been widely praised even by former opponents.
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