Excerpt from Chapter – Nelson Mandela (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)

Published September 3, 2017

Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa, he became one of the world’s most-recognized and respected revolutionaries. His position since childhood was one of privilege, having been born into a royal Xhosa family. Mandela experienced the loss of his father at an early age; a Thembu regent, Jongintaba Dalindyebo, adopted him. Through these early opportunities in life, he became the first in his line to receive a formal education, ultimately producing a strong freethinker who was unafraid to speak the truth.46

Mandela attended the University College of Fort Hare for his bachelor of art’s degree; however, he did not complete his studies, because he was expelled for participating in a student protest. Mandela’s participation in the demonstration angered Dalindyebo, but he was determined to follow his own path. In 1941, he ran away from home to escape an arranged marriage and ended up in Johannesburg.47 His first job in Johannesburg was working as a night watchman at a mine compound; then, he was employed as a law clerk, while he also completed his studies at the University of South Africa.