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Nelson Mandela 1

Running Head: NELSON MANDELA







Nelson Mandela
Sonni Peters
English 10
Mrs. J Franson







Nelson Mandela 2

I was placed in prison for 27 years, in a dark and uncheerful hole. almost three decades.
But everyone believed in me as a man who would bring rights to our nations. I was the first
American president of Africa, I faced many challenges, but it is your challenges that make you
who you are, I would not take back a single thing I have done, because it got to where I am today
I became increasingly involved with the African National Congress also known as ANC,
which is a multi-racial nationalist movement trying to bring about political change in South
Africa. I was educated qualifying in law. The National Party came to power a few years later,
and began to implement a policy of forced segregation on the basis of race. The ANC staged a
campaign of passive resistance against apartheid laws. My name is Nelson Mandela.
In 1952, I became one of the ANC's deputy president or commander-in-chief for ANCs
military wing. In the late 50s, I and others were faced with increasing government
discrimination, so my friend Oliver Tambo, others and I began to move the ANC in a more
drastic direction so we travelled abroad to receive military training and to find support for the
ANC. In upon my return, I was put on trial for treason and for leaving the country without a
passport. The court trial ended five years later with me being pled not-guilty; all the while I was
imprisoned.
Ten years later other ANC leaders and I were tried for plotting to overthrow the
government by violence. The following year I was sentenced to life imprisonment being pled
guilty by the courts. I was denied of anything that brought joy for decades, locked up in a cell
during daylight hours and deprived of music. Mostly at Christmas time, we would sing both
African and English Carrols. During that time I found music very inspirational.
Nelson Mandela 3

The years in jail reinforced habits that were already imbedded into me such as the
disciplined eating system of an athlete, early morning exercise. Even after I was released many
years later I was still up by 4.30am, regardless of how late I have worked the previous evening.
During my years in prison I became an international symbol of resistance, which I learned of
many years later in 1990 when the South African government responded to internal and
international pressure and released me. At the same time lifting the ban against the ANC. In 1991
I became the ANC's leader. And later became the first black African president.
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I
have cherished the belief of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in
harmony and with equal opportunities. It is a belief which I have to live for and achieve. But if
needs be, it is a principle for which I am prepared to die.
I Nelson Mandela was the first South African American President and fought to stop
racism. I was imprisoned in 1962, convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the
government. I then served 27 years in prison, released in 1990.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. When a
man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw. I
learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he
who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. It always seems impossible until it's
done. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background,
or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love,
for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Mandela 4

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps
along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds
that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the
glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for
a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not
ended.
References:
http://logicalthinker2.tripod.com/mandela.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/nelson_mandela
http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography/
http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/prison-timeline