July 18 is marked as Nelson Mandela International Day. He was the former PM of South Africa. Every year, this day is celebrated to honour the achievements of the eminent leader and to carry forward the legacy of this human rights activist. 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the first democratically elected president of South Africa (1994-1999) and is well-known and adored across the globe for his dedication to peace, democracy, and reconciliation. Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, political figure, and philanthropist who had a deep affection for kids. He was the Nobel Peace Prize winner in the year 1993. he even helped to form the ANC Youth League. 

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Early Life 

On July 18, 1918, Mandela was born into a Xhosa royal family. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni, and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, chief advisor to Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting king of the Thembu people. When he was 12 years old, in 1930, his father passed away, making the young Rolihlahla a Jongintaba ward at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni. He dreamt of giving back to the people after hearing the elders’ tales of the bravery of his forefathers during the liberation wars.


He attended elementary school in Qunu, where Miss Mdingane, his teacher, gave him the name Nelson in keeping with the tradition of giving all kids “Christian” names since they were influenced by British colonists who could not pronounce African names easily and usually did not.

After earning his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute, he went on to graduate from Healdtown, a prestigious Wesleyan secondary school.

Mandela began his Bachelor of Arts graduate degree at the University College of Fort Hare, but he never finished it since he was expelled for taking part in a student protest.

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He started taking classes at the University of the Witwatersrand for LLB. He admitted himself to be a poor student and left the university in 1952 without receiving a degree. After his arrest in 1962, he only resumed his studies at the University of London, although he also didn’t finish that degree.

He graduated from the University of South Africa with an LLB in 1989, during the final months of his imprisonment. At a ceremony in Cape Town, he received his diploma absentia.

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On June 14, 1958, while he was on trial, Mandela wed social worker Winnie Madikizela. Zenani and Zindziswa, their two daughters, were born. 1996 saw the couple’s divorce