Trials & Tribulations of Nelson Mandela

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"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have

fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the

ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with

equal opportunities. It is an ideal to achieve. But, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am

prepared to die." This is a quote from a speech that Nelson Mandela made during his defence at

the Rivonia Trials in 1963.

Born Rolihlahla (means; stirring up trouble) Mandela on July 18th, 1918 in Qunu, Africa,

to a family of seven. His father, Henry, was the chief of Tembu Tribe. Mandela was trained to

become the next chief to rule his father's tribe when Henry passed away but he was also a

determined student. Mandela was the only one out of seven children in his family to attend an

educational institution.

He attended Healdtown Methodist Boarding School where his teacher

gave him the English name of 'Nelson.' Nelson later left the Methodist School to attend the

University of Fort Hare, where he began his Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending Fort Hare,

he was elected onto the Student's Representative Council. Nelson joined in a campaign that

turned into a boycott and was expelled due to his course of actions. Soon after, he completed his

Bachelor of Arts by correspondence at Johannesburg and then enrolled for law school at the

University of Witwartersrand. While attending law school he worked as both a police officer and


At the height of the Second World War, Nelson, along with many others joined together

under the leadership of Anton Lembede to form the African National Congress Youth League

(ANCYL) which...