BiographyNelson Mandela Biography

Nelson Mandela Biography

Nelson Mandela, born on July 18, 1918, in South Africa, was a leader who fought against apartheid, a system that separated people by race. He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, leading the country until 1999. Mandela worked hard to end racial divisions and bring people together. He was also the president of the African National Congress party from 1991 to 1997.

    Fill Out the Form for Expert Academic Guidance!


    Live ClassesBooksTest SeriesSelf Learning

    Verify OTP Code (required)

    I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.

    Nelson Mandela Biography

    Nelson Mandela Biography

    Full Name: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

    Date of Birth: July 18, 1918

    Date of Death: December 5, 2013

    Cause of Death: Prolonged respiratory infection

    Age: 95 years


    1. Evelyn Ntoko Mase (married in 1944; divorced in 1958)
    2. Winnie Madikizela (married in 1958; divorced in 1996)
    3. Graça Machel (married in 1998)

    Who is Nelson Mandela?

    Nelson Mandela was part of the Thembu Dynasty, a ruling family in an area called Transkeian Territories in South Africa. He was born in a small village named Qunu. His great-grandfather, Ngubengcuka, was the leader of the Thembu people until the British took over. Mandela got his last name from his grandfather, Mandela.

    His dad, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was once the chief of Mvezo village but lost his job because he didn’t get along with the British rulers. So, the family moved to Qunu. Even though his dad lost his position, he stayed influential in Thembu affairs. He helped Jongintaba Dalindyebo become the new Thembu leader, who later took care of Mandela when his dad passed away.

    Mandela’s dad had four wives and a big family with 13 children. Mandela spent most of his childhood in the house of Nosekeni Fanny, his dad’s third wife. His first name, Rolihlahla, means “troublemaker” in a playful way.

    Nelson Mandela Biography: Education

    Rolihlahla Mandela was the first in his family to go to school when he was seven years old. A teacher named him ‘Nelson’ after a British admiral. His father died when he was nine, and a man named Jongintaba took care of him. Mandela went to a school close to where Jongintaba lived. At sixteen, he followed his tribe’s customs and went to a boarding school where he learned about Western culture. He finished his Junior Certificate in just two years instead of three.

    Later, Mandela went to Healdtown, a college where many Thembu royal family members studied. He got into boxing and running when he was nineteen. He started studying for a B.A. degree and met his lifelong friend Oliver Tambo at university. Mandela got involved in protests against university policies and had to leave.

    After leaving university, Mandela tried to work as a guard at a mine but was fired when they found out who he was. With the help of his friend Walter Sisulu, he found a job as a clerk at a law firm. He finished his degree through correspondence and then went to the University of Witwatersrand. During this time, he lived in a place called Alexandra.

    Nelson Mandela Biography: Marriage & Family

    Nelson Mandela was married three times and had six children, 20 grandchildren, and lots of great-grandchildren. His first wife was Evelyn Ntoko Mase, and they had two sons named Madiba Thembekile and Makgatho, and two daughters named Makaziwe.

    His second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was also from the same area as him. They had two daughters named Zenani and Zindziswa. But because of their differences in politics, they separated and then got divorced.

    On Mandela’s 80th birthday in 1998, he married Graça Machel, who was previously married to Samora Machel, a leader from Mozambique. The wedding was conducted by a king, and it followed lots of discussions to agree on the bride price. It’s interesting to note that the grandfather of the king who conducted the wedding was the same person who had chosen a bride for Mandela when he was young and made him leave his hometown.

    Nelson Mandela Quotes

    Here, we share Top Nelson Mandela Quotes on love and caring for others, even when they might not seem worthy. We also feature Nelson Mandela’s powerful words on conquering fear and facing challenges for the greater good, among others.

    1. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
    2. “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
    3. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
    4. “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.”
    5. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
    6. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
    7. “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
    8. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
    9. “Many people in this country have paid the price before me and many will pay the price after me.”
    10. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
    11. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”
    12. “It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.”
    13. “It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity, or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.”
    14. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
    15. “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”

    Nelson Mandela Images

    Nelson Mandela’s images capture the essence of a remarkable leader whose legacy continues to inspire generations. From iconic portraits to candid moments, Nelson Mandela’s images depict his resilience, wisdom, and unwavering commitment to justice and equality. These pictures serve as visual reminders of his enduring impact on the world and his tireless pursuit of freedom and reconciliation. Whether in black and white or vibrant color, Nelson Mandela’s pics are windows into his extraordinary life, offering glimpses of hope, determination, and the triumph of the human spirit.
    Nelson Mandela
    Nelson Mandela
    Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela Question Answer

    In class 10, students often encounter questions and answers about Nelson Mandela, the iconic leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. These questions delve into his life, struggles, and contributions to the world. Understanding Nelson Mandela’s journey can inspire students and deepen their appreciation for themes like resilience, equality, and justice.

    A typical set of Nelson Mandela class 10 questions and answers might include inquiries about his early life, his activism against apartheid, his time in prison, and his presidency. Students may also be asked to summarize key events or speeches associated with Mandela’s life, such as his famous “I Have a Dream” speech or his inauguration as South Africa’s first black president.

    Engaging with Nelson Mandela’s story through questions and answers not only enhances students’ historical knowledge but also encourages reflection on the values of perseverance, compassion, and unity that Mandela embodied. By exploring his legacy, class 10 students can gain valuable insights into the power of leadership and the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

    Ques 1. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

    Answer. Mandela felt very lucky to have important guests and leaders at the swearing-in. Not long ago, South Africans were seen as criminals. He thanked them all for coming from far away to see the first Black President of South Africa take the oath. It was a great sign that other countries recognized South Africa as a free nation. This event showed that justice, peace, and human dignity won together.

    Ques 2. What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?

    Answer. Mandela aimed to free South Africans from poverty, suffering, and discrimination. He wanted everyone in the country to have the freedom to live without being held back by any form of prejudice or hardship.

    Ques 3. What does courage mean to Mandela?

    Answer. Mandela believed that being brave doesn’t mean you’re never scared. Instead, it means facing your fears and overcoming them. He said courage isn’t about not feeling afraid, but about beating that fear.

    Ques 4. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

    Answer. Mandela talks about two important things everyone must do in life – (i) take care of your family, including your parents, spouse, and kids; and (ii) help your community, country, and the people around you.

    Nelson Mandela Biography: Political Activity

    Nelson Mandela played a big role in the ANC’s Defiance Movement in 1952 and the People’s Congress in 1955. They made the Freedom Charter, which outlined what the anti-apartheid movement stood for, because the National Party, which supported apartheid, won the election in 1948. During this time, Mandela and his friend Oliver Tambo ran a law firm where they helped black people with legal advice for little or no money.

    At first, Mandela believed in non-violent protest, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. But in 1956, he and 150 others were arrested and accused of treason. They went through a long trial from 1956 to 1961, but they were all found not guilty. However, during this time, there were disagreements within the ANC. Some people wanted to take more extreme actions against the government.

    In 1959, the ANC lost many of its most radical members. They split off to form the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) under leaders like Robert Sobukwe and Potlako Leballo. This split weakened the ANC’s support base.

    In 1961, Nelson Mandela became the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe (also called MK), the fighting group linked with the ANC, which he helped start. He led attacks on military and government targets to fight against apartheid. If these attacks didn’t work, he planned for a possible war in the future. MK did end up fighting the government years later, especially in the 1980s, and many innocent people died.

    Mandela also raised money and arranged military training for MK outside the country by visiting various African governments.

    He was caught after hiding for 17 months on August 5, 1962, and put in prison in Johannesburg. Three days later, at a court hearing, he was charged with leading a strike in 1961 and leaving the country unlawfully. Mandela got a five-year prison sentence on October 25, 1962.

    Two years later, on June 11, 1964, he was found guilty of his involvement with the ANC and sent to Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years behind bars. He wrote most of his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” while in prison. In the book, he didn’t mention President F. W. De Klerk or his ex-wife Winnie Mandela’s role in the violence of the 1980s and early 1990s. However, he later talked about these issues in “Mandela: The Authorized Biography,” which he worked on with journalist Anthony Sampson.

    Mandela refused to leave prison when offered freedom if he gave up violence in February 1985. He stayed until there was a big push from the ANC and others around the world chanting “Free Nelson Mandela!” President de Klerk then freed Mandela in February 1990 and lifted the ANC ban.

    On April 27, 1994, South Africa had its first fair elections. The ANC won, and Nelson Mandela became the first black president. His deputy was de Klerk from the National Party.

    In 1995, South Africa held the Rugby World Cup. Mandela encouraged black South Africans to support the Springboks, the national rugby team, which they used to dislike. When the Springboks won the final against New Zealand, Mandela, wearing their jersey, gave the trophy to their captain, Francois Pienaar. This moment helped bring white and black South Africans closer together.

    In February 1999, during Mandela’s time as president, South Africa launched its first satellite called SUNSAT. It was made by students from Stellenbosch University. The satellite took pictures of South African land to help with things like vegetation and forestry.

    Nelson Mandela Death

    In February 2011, Mandela got sick and had to go to the hospital because of a breathing problem. This made news all around the world. Later in December 2012, he had to go to the hospital again to remove a lung infection and gallstones.

    In March 2013, Mandela had a surgery to help him breathe better, but then he got sick again and had to go back to the hospital in Pretoria. In June 2013, his breathing got even worse, and he was in very bad condition when he went back to the hospital.

    The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, visited Mandela in the hospital and prayed with his wife, Machel. The President of South Africa, Zuma, canceled a trip to visit Mandela the next day.

    In September 2013, Mandela left the hospital, but he was still not feeling well. After being sick for a long time, Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at his home in Houghton, surrounded by his family. President Zuma announced his death on TV. The country mourned his death for ten days. They held a big ceremony in Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on December 10, 2013, and December 8 was a national day of prayer and thinking about Mandela.

    Mandela’s body was at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from December 11 to December 13, and then they had a big funeral on December 15 in Qunu. Many people from other countries came to South Africa for the funeral.

    It was later found out that a lot of money meant for helping people was used for Mandela’s funeral. Many people shared their memories of Mandela on social media. When Mandela died, he left his money and property, about $4.1 million, to his wife, family, workers, and schools.

    FAQs on Nelson Mandela Biography

    Who is Nelson Mandela?

    Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

    Who according to Nelson Mandela is a Courageous Man?

    According to Nelson Mandela, a courageous man is someone who stands up for what they believe in, even in the face of adversity and fear. He admired those who fought against injustice and oppression, regardless of the risks involved.

    How Does Nelson Mandela define the meaning of Courage?

    Nelson Mandela defined courage as the ability to overcome fear and act with determination and resilience in pursuit of justice and freedom. He believed that courage was not the absence of fear, but rather the triumph over it.

    When did Nelson Mandela Die?

    Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95, at his home in Houghton, South Africa.

    Who was Nelson Mandela Class 9?

    Nelson Mandela is often studied in Class 9 as part of history or social studies curriculum, especially in courses that cover topics such as apartheid, civil rights movements, and the struggle for equality.

    Chat on WhatsApp Call Infinity Learn

      Talk to our academic expert!


      Live ClassesBooksTest SeriesSelf Learning

      Verify OTP Code (required)

      I agree to the terms and conditions and privacy policy.