A Message to Madiba

Father of Africa

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Nelson Mandela is considered to be the Father of Africa.

Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, which means he fought for those who were disadvantaged by the system of racial segregation. Mandela became a civil rights leader, leading many against the Apartheid government. Apartheid was a system of racial inequality which kept all races separated from one another.

In 1994, Mandela was of key importance in negotiating the freedom and equality of all South Africans. He became South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

Mandela was born on 18th July 1918 in a small village, Mvezu, in Eastern Cape. Growing up he learned about South African history and the unfair discrimination faced by non whites living in South Africa. He wanted to help end this discrimination so that everyone could live freely and equally. Mandela later went on to study law at the University of the Witwatersrand where he met fellow activists who fought against Apartheid.

Apartheid was introduced in 1948 by the National Party which was an all white government. It was a harsh system that gave few opportunities to non white people and took away their basic human rights such as education, freedom of movement and right of self determination. Mandela joined the ANC in 1944 and was elected president in the ANCYL in 1951. He first encouraged non violent protests as he wanted to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s example but this did not work and later on they used more violent tactics.

The Apartheid government then labelled Mandela and other civil rights activists as terrorists. Mandela was arrested by the Apartheid government and during the Rivonia trail (1963 – 1964) was sentenced to jail.

He spent 27 years in prison and most of that time was on Robben Island. During this time he became an international symbol for the anti- Apartheid movement.

As this gained international support there were world wide protests and sanctions against the Apartheid regime. The fight against the Apartheid government was a success due to both local and international pressure which forced the regime to an end. On the 11th February 1990 F.W de Klerk, who was South Africa’s president at that time, released Nelson Mandela from jail.

Together they worked to end Apartheid by abolishing Apartheid laws, freeing civil rights protesters and un-banning political parties.  The 27th April 1994 was an historic day, when South Africa’s first democratic elections were held and everyone was given the right to vote – regardless of their race.

The ANC won the elections and Mandela, as its leader, became the first democratically elected president. South Africa is now a fully democratic country. Mandela helped prevent civil war and he ensured that no one would be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin.

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Maheshan Naicker

I was born in Durban on the 28 October 2005. I live in Moorton, Chatsworth. I go to Moorton Heights Primary School. I take part in sports. I have learnt more about how to be good and caring for one and other. I have realized that I should not to be a bully. I always listen first before reacting. My hobbies are listening to music, wood working, fixing cars, computers and computer games. My being a 2018 Nelson Mandela School SleepOut™ – Empowered by Liliesleaf : For The Tomorrow Trust Ambassador, my aim is to stand up for all the children who are going through a similar situation that I have been through. I know with the help of my teachers and adults in my life I can make a difference, both, in my life , as well as in my community. I would love to be of service to the community I live in. I am certain that anything can be achieved with hard work and dedication.