Andrea Murillo
IntroductionNelson Mandela once said, “As all of us stand tall today, as all of us surely do, it is only because we are borne aloft by the firm hands of the ordinary people of our country” (Duley). There was once a man by the name of Nelson Mandela. But he was not just a man, but also a savior to many people. He was born in a tiny village just like many other Africans one of four children, and his father was chief of the Thembu people (Delvisci).


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Personal Background
Nelson, as much as it’s hard to believe, had a tough background. For example, having an arranged marriage and divorcing in 1958 (Delviscio). He was a very kind man according to Keller. Mandela was also known for being very cheerful. Nelson had gone to the University of Fort Hare for two years after being expelled for leading a protest (Delviscio). Mandela had a tough time. He was put in jail twice, for 32 years in total some for leaving South Africa illegally and for indicating strikes and was also charged with treason with 150 others (Keller). People were once again amazed on how Mandela stayed very cheerful and kind due to everything that he had gone through. Many people liked to call Nelson different thing for example, Rolihlahla. His father died when he was 9 (Keller). He lived underground for 17 months (Deviscio). Mandela was strong with words. Not only did he get around to adults, but also to many teenagers. He opened the first black law practice. He also led emancipation from white minority rule (Keller). Mandela was very humble. He declined the second term for presidency. He was president from 1994 to 1999 (Keller). He had four children with his wife. Mandela died at the age of 95. After Mandela died he requested to be buried in his village (Keller).



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Personality TraitsMandela, as much as it’s hard to believe, had a tough background. He had an arranged marriage and divorced in 1958 (Delviscio). Mandela had gone to the University of Fort Hare for two years after being expelled for leading a protest (Delviscio). Mandela had a tough time. He was put in jail twice, for 32 years in total some for leaving South Africa illegally and for igniting strikes and was also charged with treason with 150 others (Keller). People were once again amazed how Mandela stayed very cheerful and kind due to everything that he had gone through. Many people liked to call Mandela different thing for example, Rolihlahla. His father died when he was 9 (Keller). He lived underground for 17 months (Deviscio). Mandela was strong with words. Not only did he get around to adults, but also to many teenagers. He opened the first black law practice. He also led emancipation from white minority rule (Keller). Mandela was very humble. He declined the second term for presidency. He was president from 1994 to 1999 (Keller). He had four children with his wife. Mandela died at the age of 95. After Mandela died he requested to be buried in his village (Keller).


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Obstacles
We as people can only take too much to be broken. Usually we end up giving up. But there are some people out there who cannot be broken down. For example, Nelson Mandela. “The icon is a very old man now. His hair is white, his body frail” (Dugger). Mandela was a human just like us. He was just different. Different in a way that he could have walked through hell and came back out with a smile. He didn’t have a very fortunate life growing up. He had to live through his father’s death at the age of nine (Keller). Mandela lived through being a victim of racism. “Mr. Mandela tells how he walked into a law school class and sat next to a white fellow with big ears, who promptly changed seats to avoid sitting next to a black man” (Dugger). To be a black man at this time, and to be in a law class, should has had some kind of respect given to Mr. Mandela. He even wanted to invite the white man to their 50th reunion of the University of Witwatersrand according to Dugger. Sadly though, the white man had already died to make his appearance. But that was very honorable of Mandela to do. To invite a man who didn’t even want to sit next to him due to the color of his skin. A big obstacle that Mandela had to overcome was divorcing his wife. He has had an arranged marriage as I had mentioned before, but divorcing someone who you had had children with, was very tough I imagine for him. Mandela’s physical appearance meant nothing to people who looked up to him. “’He is the symbol of our struggle,' said Mzwakhe Kubheka, 19, a high school student. ‘To me he is like Jesus Christ,’” (Cowell).





Historical Significances
Nelson Mandela was known as the world’s most beloved statesman and a natural showman (Dugger). Even though he is gone today, he is still known as an ideal leader, warm, magnanimous, willing to own up to his failings to many people (Dugger). To have a man that is known all over the world own up to his mistakes, is really unbelievable because yes, many people see him as an idol. Mandela is also very well known for being the first black president in his country. While in prison, he refused offers by fellow jail mates reducing his sentenced by accepting the Bantustan policy. After his release he went straight to leadership in the ANC (Deviscio). In his country, it was illegal to go to the same schools, drink from the same water fountains, even go to the same beaches (Deviscio). Mandela set out to be president to bring different races together. Even though Mandela was president, he was in prison at one point in his life. It was illegal to quote or talk about him in public during that time. He never lost faith in getting freedom in his country though. He is now known as Africa’s “Beauty in Ashes” (Delviscio). He is well known for being a civil rights activist. He even won the Nobel peace price with a lifelong friend. Mandela also liked working on economic problems in his country. He funded many jobs and signed a law for healthcare in his country (Dugger). He provided freedom too. Although Mandela is not alive today, he is very well remembered for all the amazing things he did when alive.




References
Daley, Suzanne. "Mandela, With Touch of Grace, Paves W
ay for Successor." World. The New York Times, 15 June 1999. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

Delviscio, Jeffery. "The Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela: 1918-2013". New York Times, 8 December 2012.

Dugger, Celia. "At 91, Mandela Endures as South Africas Ideal." Africa. The New York Times, 8 Nov. 2009. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

Harwood, Ronald. Mandela. New York: New American Library, 1987.

Keller, Bill. "Mandela Is Named President, Closing Era of Apartheid." World. The New York Times, 10 May 1994. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

Swarns, Rachel. "Robben Island Journal: With Vivid Palette, Mandela Depicts the Jailhouse Years." World. The New York Times, 12 Feb.
2003. Web. 9 Jan. 2015