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Life of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela addressing a mass rally in Bloemfontein, a few days after his release from jail on 25 February 1990. Source:

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 into the Madiba tribal clan in a small village in the eastern Cape.In South Africa, he was often called by his clan name - "Madiba". He was given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school. His birth name was Rohlihlahla.  

He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. He married his first wife, Evelyn, in 1944. Mr Mandela qualified as a lawyer and in 1952 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with his partner, Oliver Tambo.


Together, they campaigned against the apartheid system of racial segregation devised by the all-white National Party which ran a white minority government.