Nelson Mandela

It is a general belief in the society that African people tend to suffer from unequal rights, neglectful attitude, poor conditions of life and racial discrimination. They are more often regarded as victims and not heroes. Moreover, Africans are frequently associated with aggressive protests and violent fights. Nevertheless, Nelson Mandela, a South African nationalist, debunked this misconception. He showed the whole world an example of courage and strength without any violence. He improved the human rights not only in his country, but made other states follow his principles.

There were two main phases when the impact of Mandela on the development of South Africa was most tangible. The first one is the early period of Mandela’s political activity that ended by his imprisonment. During that time, Mandela presented himself as a great reformer. He stood against the common strategies of ruling known as apartheid. Apartheid was a policy based on oppression, property distinction and racial inequality. Common people, fed up with discrimination, supported Mandela. He managed to form, on the basis of African National Congress, the organization Ukmonto we Sizwe (“spear of the nation”). It was responsible for the protection of civil rights not only in South Africa but in the whole continent. In 1962, Mandela gave a speech at the conference Pan African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa in Ethiopia (Davies 651). It was the last straw that made apartheid leaders act in order to stop the activity of Mandela and rid the society of his harmful ideas. As a result, Mandela was imprisoned from 1962 to 1990.

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It might seem that this imprisonment could have eliminated Mandela’s impact on Africa. In fact, it enhanced its power. After Mandela’s release from prison, he gained the ANC leadership. He managed not only to become South Africa’s first democratically elected president but also to abolish apartheid (Langley 199). During his presidency, Mandela implemented many important reforms in the spheres of human rights (the right to self-determination and the prohibition of racial discrimination), civil and political rights, and social and cultural rights (Langley 199).

Moreover, Mandela’ imprisonment brought worldwide recognition to him. First, he attracted the attention of all countries to the issue of black people’s oppression. He became a symbol of freedom and racial equality. In addition, by his example, Mandela revealed that the persecution was not the fudge but the reality of black people’s life. Second, Mandela improved external relations between Africa and other continents. In other words, his presidency helped to unite South Africa with other countries. For example, there were as many heads of state on the Mandela’s inauguration as on the funeral of the U.S. President John Kennedy (Davies 651). Finally, Mandela provided the worldwide policy with new productive ideas. He campaigned for global peace, showing that a non-violent protest was a powerful tool of struggle. In addition, he raised global awareness about such mortal diseases as HIV and AIDS. Mandela revealed a real number of children who suffered from them. He also supported medical researches to develop an effective vaccine against HIV and AIDS (Langley 199).

To sum up, Nelson Mandela was the person of African and global significance. On the local level, he deprived the citizens of racial oppression and provided them with basic civil, political, social and cultural rights. Moreover, he brought worldwide recognition for his country. Mandela revealed the real problems of Africa. He enhanced the external relations between Africa and other continents. Moreover, he improved the worldwide policy by the notion of non-violent struggle and attracted attention to the suffering of people with such diseases as HIV and AIDS.

 

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