By Damian Torres ‘14
Mandela spent 27 years in prison until his release in 1990, nine days after the unbanning of the ANC. Throughout his imprisonment he had rejected at least three conditional offers of release.
Mandela’s birth name – Rolihlahla – is an isiXhosa name that means “pulling the branch of the tree”. Colloquially it also means “troublemaker”. His English name, Nelson, was given to him by a missionary schoolteacher.
He was not only the first commander in chief of the ANC’s armed wing, but was also co-founder of the country’s first black law firm, Mandela & Tambo, which defended people affected by apartheid laws.
The United Nations declared his birthday, July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day. This was the first time the UN dedicated a particular day to a person.
Mandela organized non-violence protest action against apartheid in South Africa R.I.P. Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)