South Africa and the world lost a life-changing leader today.
Nelson Mandela, who freed South Africa from the shackles of apartheid and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died at age 95 in his home of Johannesburg after a long illness battle.
Mandela spent nearly three decades of his life imprisoned after being tried and convicted of sabotage for his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement for his fight against white minority rule.
In honor of a lifetime of accomplishments, let’s take a look at 5 of Mandela’s many great achievements:
- Served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 – the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election.
- Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his fight against oppression in South Africa.
- Instead of prosecuting the crimes of many apartheid-era commanders and enforcers, in 1995 he agreed to set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where victims of racist violence and torture could tell their stories and perpetrators told theirs.
- Became a leading spokesman for AIDs prevention and treatment in South Africa.
- Successfully campaigned for South Africa to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
But while his hundreds of awards are a testament to the type of leader he was, nothing holds greater evidence to the type of man he was than the 3 qualities he carried with him everywhere – humor, honesty and humility.
To my friends and loved ones in Johannesburg and all over South Africa, the world and I are mourning with you for Mandela’s passing.
Let us celebrate Mandela’s life, remember his unprecedented legacy, and continue his work of equality.
Nelson Mandela has done so much for the world and will go down as one of history’s greatest men.
I’ll leave you with one of Mandela’s greatest quotes:
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.