Nelson Mandela is the father of South Africa, an anti-apartheid activist and our former president. Mandela was the first black South African to be elected into office in 1994, but for a man who is such a public figure, there remain aspects of his history that we are not aware of. These are our top 5 choices which came from an article listing 15 things you didn’t know about Nelson Mandela.
During his time in prison, Mandela was restricted to a 2m x 2,5m cell, with nothing but a bedroll on the floor and a bucket for sanitation in it. He was consigned to hard labour in a lime quarry for much of that time and was, at first, only allowed one visitor and one letter every six months.
The apartheid government offered to release Mandela on no less than six occasions but he rejected them each time. On one such occasion Mandela released a statement saying: “I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom … What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people [the ANC] remains banned?”
In 1962, he left the country to garner support for the armed struggle. During this time he received guerilla training in Morocco and Ethiopia.
Mandela wrote a memoir during the 70′s, copies of which were wrapped in plastic containers and buried in a vegetable garden which he kept at prison. It was hoped that fellow prisoner Mac Maharaj, who was due for release, would be able to smuggle them out. But the containers were discovered when prison authorities began building a wall through the garden. As punishment, Mandela’s study privileges were revoked.
Hundreds of awards and honours have been bestowed on Mandela. Among others, he is an honarary citizen of Canada, an honorary member of the British Labour Party, and an honorary member of Manchester United. He also had a nuclear particle (the ‘Mandela particle’), a prehistoric woodpecker (Australopicus nelsonmandelai) and an orchid (Paravanda Nelson Mandela) named after him.
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To read more intersting facts about Nelson Mandela click here.
[Source: Mail & Guardian]
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