Nelson Mandela Essay

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Essay on Nelson Mandela

There was a time when facilities were divided among people on the basis of their skin colour. From the seat reservations in public transport to any other public facilities, everywhere, whites used to get better facilities whereas dark-skinned people, the blacks, got the worst services. White supremacy existed in every country under British colonialism. In some countries, racial discrimination was found on a larger scale whereas in others on a smaller scale. However, in South Africa, it became worse. 

Three-fourths of the total population were black people there. The country's economy used to run on the strength of their hard work, but all the good facilities were available to the whites. Although racial discrimination was there in South Africa for a long time, the National Party government made a rule in 1948 that blacks and whites would live in different places and the public facilities were divided according to their skin colours. Since good always triumphs over evil, the struggles of Nelson Mandela put an end to the rules of racial discrimination, after which everyone started getting equal facilities. It was not so easy. Nelson Mandela had to spend 28 years of his life in prison. Mandela was a man who followed Gandhi's path. He did this without taking up arms, without any bloodshed.


Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo, South Africa. His mother's name was Nosakeni and his father's name was Gadla Henry. Earlier, Nelson Mandela was named Rohlihala by his parents, which means mischievous, but his school teacher changed his name to Nelson. Nelson Mandela did his early studies at Clark Barry Missionary School. Nelson Mandela was just 12 years old when his father died, but his family never let the absence of his father affect his life. His family continued to help him in every way for higher studies since Nelson was the only member of the whole family who went to school. 

He graduated from Healdtown College. Healdtown was a college specially built for black people. In this college, Nelson Mandela met a friend and remained friends with him throughout his life and always supported him in his struggle against Apartheid. Right from the days of college, he started the fight against racial discrimination and started gathering people, due to which he was expelled from college. In 1944, he joined the African National Congress, in which he had started the movement against racial discrimination. In 1947, he was elected as a  secretary of that party. Later many people joined him and strived towards their goal but in 1961, a case of treason was filed against Mandela and he was imprisoned along with some of his friends. Though he was later found innocent and was released, yet, again on 5th August 1962, he was arrested on charges of inciting the workers to go on strike. On 12th July 1964, after trials for almost 2 years, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was sent to the most strictly guarded jail for imprisonment but even after that, his courage never diminished. He also started sharing his opinions with the black prisoners in jail. On the other hand, his party also tried its best to get him released but failed. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 28 years. Finally, in 1989, the government changed in South Africa and the liberal leader F. W. Clarke became the President of the country. Considering the struggle of Nelson and his party, he ordered the removal of all restrictions on black people and decided to release all the prisoners who were imprisoned without any serious charges.

Nelson Mandela’s Struggles of Life: 

On February 1, 1990, Mandela was released from prison. In the Presidential election of South Africa that was held in 1994, black people could also participate. Mandela participated in this election and his party African National Congress formed the government with a majority. On 10 May 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first President of his country and made all rights equal for the whites and the blacks. Nelson Mandela, much like Mahatma Gandhi, followed a non-violent path, he considered Mahatma Gandhi as his inspiration. 

Nelson Mandela has been awarded the Bharat Ratna, the most prestigious award of India, in 1990. He was the second foreigner to be given this award after Mother Teresa, who was awarded in 1980. In 1993, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Prize for world peace, for the struggle against Apartheid throughout his life, and to empower the blacks in South Africa. On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela passed away, at the age of 95. He says that “When a person considers the service of his country and people as his duty, he gets peace in doing that work. I think I have tried that and that is why I can sleep peacefully till the end.”


Nelson Mandela, much like Mahatma Gandhi, advocated a nonviolent path, he considered Gandhi as his source of inspiration. For this reason, he is also called African Gandhi. Nelson Mandela has also been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's biggest award in 1990. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Who is Nelson Mandela?

Answer: Nelson Mandela raised his voice against racial discrimination in South Africa. He spent 28 years of his life in prison as a part of his struggle to put an end to racial discrimination in South Africa. After this, blacks and whites were entitled to equal rights, and they enjoyed equal public facilities.

Question 2: Name Nelson Mandela’s Publication?

Answer: Some of Nelson Mandela’s publications are as follows.

  • No Easy Walk to Freedom

  • The Struggle is my Life

  • In His Own Words

  • I am Prepared to Die

  • Long Walk To Freedom

Question 3: What Did Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi Have in Common?

Answer: Nelson Mandela, much like Mahatma Gandhi, advocated a nonviolent path, he considered Gandhi as his source of inspiration. He struggled for years against white supremacy without any armed movements and bloodshed.