।। Anik Ahmed ।।
Nelson Mandela is one of the most famous undisputed statesmen in the world. A legend in the fight against racism. South Africa’s first black president. At the same time, he became the first democratically elected president in the country.
Nelson Mandela was a living legend with his charismatic personality, keen sense of humor, generosity like extending a hand of friendship to an enemy who forgets bitterness, and his colorful and dramatic life story!
On May 10, 1994, after the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first black president of the new South Africa. Even just a decade ago, this political upheaval in the minority white-ruled South Africa was an unimaginable event. Nelson Mandela played the biggest role in this change. Not only in South Africa, he also played a role in establishing peace in different countries of the world.
This famous leader Nelson Mandela was born in 1918. His father was a councilor of the Thembo royal family in the province of Eastern Cape.
At a young age, Nelson Mandela moved to Johannesburg, where he was elected president of the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Then he closely involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. At the same time he started working as a lawyer.
In 1960, 69 people were killed in police firing on protesters in the Ethiopian sarpabhile. Then the anti-apartheid movement became intense. He began to question whether the peaceful movement would benefit at all.
In a speech at the time, Nelson Mandela said that peace and dialogue with the government were futile when the government was carrying out brutal attacks on unarmed and unresponsive people.
Nelson Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for plotting to overthrow the government when the ANC launched an armed struggle. His long imprisonment began on the infamous island of Reuben in South Africa.
But despite the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and top ANC leaders, the fight against apartheid continues in South Africa’s black townships. Hundreds of black youth lost their lives in police firing.
International pressure is mounting on the South African government to release Nelson Mandela. He was finally released on February 11, 1990, after 27 long years in prison!
Mandela said he dreamed of a South Africa where people of all races and ethnicities could live together with equal opportunities.
It was not easy to build a new Africa, leaving behind the old South Africa. But instead of avenging the bitterness of the past, Nelson Mandela extended a hand of friendship to his former white oppressors. The path to a new South Africa began.
Following this, Nelson Mandela was elected president by a large margin in the 1994 election.
In 1996, he oversaw the drafting of a new democratic constitution for South Africa. He did not participate in the 1999 elections for the second time and retired from politics.
Even after his retirement, Nelson Mandela’s busyness did not stop, he became an icon or symbol of freedom and world peace, so his call continues to be read in various philanthropic works.
One of his sons died of AIDS. After this incident, he became vocal about AIDS prevention and treatment in South Africa.
For the rest of his life, he devoted himself to campaigning for the eradication of poverty and the cure of AIDS.
In the words of US President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela was “one of the most influential, brave and extremely good people” who “took history into his own hands and brought justice to our moral world.”
Nobel laureate humanitarian leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Thank God he sent Nelson Mandela among us, who was able to rise above all in his own right.”
The example set by Nelson Mandela through the practical application of the ideals of forgiveness and reconciliation is a source of great inspiration for world civilization. Many have described him as the greatest Gandhian.
Considered a symbol of democracy and social justice, Mandela has received more than 250 awards. Notable among these are the Bharat Ratna award given by the Government of India in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He also jointly won the inaugural award of the Sakharov Prize in 1986. In South Africa, Mandela is known to his tribe as Madiba, which means “Father of the Nation”.
In 2013, the world lost one of the best children of all time. The whole world mourned in his honor.
Nelson Mandela was once asked, how would he be happy to remember him?
His answer was, “I want to say the same thing about me, there is a man lying here who has done his duty on earth.” That’s all I want to say about myself.