Biography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo, in Transkei, South Africa. His father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa (1886-1946), was a chief of the Thembu royal family and his mother, Ngakwele Dintwe (1894–1976), was a teacher and activist who studied Christianity with her husband’s people. He received his elementary education at a missionary school for Africans near Durban. At age 10 he moved to Johannesburg for further education at the Christian Brothers’ High School in Parktown North.

Early Life

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in the village of Mvezo, which is located in the Transkei region of South Africa. He was born to Thembu royal lineage and his father was chief of that tribe.

During his childhood he attended primary school at the Mqhekezweni Mission School where he would later study law after leaving high school with honors (he entered Stellenbosch University but left before completing his degree). He married Evelyn Ntombizane on February 18th 1944 after their wedding ceremony took place at Johannesburg’s Church Of Reconciliation (now known as Orlando Stadium).


Mandela was educated at the Jesuits’ Healdtown mission school, a Catholic mission school in the Transkei. He also attended his school’s preparatory department, where he completed all subjects except for English and Afrikaans. In 1935 Mandela matriculated to Fort Hare University; he was expelled from this institution for joining student protests against apartheid and its policies towards black people (Mandela later described his time at Fort Hare as “the most bitter experience of [his] life”).

In 1942 Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), an anti-apartheid political organization formed by activist Walter Sisulu that had been meeting secretly since 1912. The ANC advocated racial equality through nonviolent means such as lobbying legislators or boycotting white-owned businesses until they were forced out of business by economic pressure alone


Nelson Mandela was an activist who fought against the apartheid system in South Africa. In this section, we’ll look at how he became an activist and why he did so.

Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa to Gadla Henry Mandela (1884–1961) and his second wife Nokuthula Dlomu (1889–1977). He had six siblings: Walter; Albertina Sisulu; Albertina Makunju; Themba; Makaziwe and Gadla Junior.

Also Read:- Biography of Rabindranath Tagore

Nelson was educated at Bhekumelo High School where he excelled academically and also played rugby for their school team. At 17 years old he left school after passing Grade 8 exams with distinction. After leaving high school he enlisted into Fort Hare University where he completed undergraduate studies with a bachelor degree Honours Degree in Politics & Economics. After graduating from university Nelson returned home before relocating again this time to Johannesburg where he worked as secretary-general at African National Congress Youth League headquarters until 1954.

Political Career

Mandela was a member of the ANC and became president of the organization in 1991. He led negotiations with the government that resulted in South Africa’s first non-racial elections in 1994, when he served as president for five years.

Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Transkei region of South Africa to Winnie Madikizela and Motlhabane Mandela (a double-barreled surname). He attended Fort Hare University and received a law degree from University College London in 1952 before returning home to practice law full time at Johannesburg’s Supreme Court until he became president of South Africa’s National Party Youth League chapter six years later.


In 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested and imprisoned for life. He was sent to prison on Robben Island, where he remained until 1990.

In this time period, South Africa had been under an oppressive system known as apartheid that treated many black people unfairly because of their race. The government wanted them to be slaves who worked for white people; however, Mandela wanted something better for himself and others like him: freedom from oppression and injustice!


  • First term (1954–1961)
  • Second term (1968–1977)
  • Third term (1983–1990)

Later Years

After retiring from public life in 2004, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent treatment for the disease. In 2011, he announced that he had been treated successfully and would continue his chemotherapy treatments until his death. Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95 after spending most of his time in Qunu, South Africa since moving there in 1962.

His funeral was held on December 15th at the FNB Stadium and approximately 50 heads of state were present.

Nelson Mandela

Death and Legacy

Nelson Mandela’s death in 2013 was a significant loss for the world, but he has been remembered as one of the most influential people of his time. His legacy includes many organizations, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation; these institutions continue to work toward his vision of equality and justice for all people.

Mandela was awarded several awards during his lifetime, including:

  • The Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 (shared with F.W.)
  • Order of Merit (Class 1) by South Africa on April 10th 1998


This biography of Nelson Mandela is a summary of his life, from his early childhood to his presidency. It is the first in the series of biographies that I will write about leaders and activists who have shaped the world we live in today.

About The Author

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I am Komal Gupta, the founder of Knowledge Glow, and my team and I aim to fuel dreams and help the readers achieve success. While you prepare for your competitive exams, we will be right here to assist you in improving your general knowledge and gaining maximum numbers from objective questions. We started this website in 2021 to help students prepare for upcoming competitive exams. Whether you are preparing for civil services or any other exam, our resources will be valuable in the process.

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