Nelson Mandela never faltered in his dedication to democracy, equality, and learning. Despite appalling incitement, he never answered racism with racism.
“His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation,” says the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Even as a young man, Nelson Mandela was strong-willed. Instead of backing down after being expelled from the University College of Fort Hare for joining in a student protest, he fled to Johannesburg and did his articles through a firm of attorneys: Witkin, Eidelman and Sidelsky. In 1952 he and Oliver Tambo formed the first black law firm in South Africa: Mandela & Tambo.
Politically, Mandela joined the ANC in 1944 and helped to establish the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). “Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949,” reads Nelsonmandela.org.
As the president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s unwavering moral compass ensured that the country moved forward and did not suffer a backlash of anger over the past.
Not only did Mandela lead South Africa through its most delicate stages, but he also stayed politically involved even after his term as president.
Madiba continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund that he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is “mandated to promote his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all.” One of their initiatives includes promoting Nelson Mandela International Day which aims to highlight
Mandela’s three life rules:
- Free yourself.
- Free others.
- Serve every day.