The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated July 18 as “Nelson Mandela International Day,” in honour of the former South African President, and his accomplishments to the spirit of peace and freedom.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recognised Mandela’s values and devotion to the service of humanity in the following areas: conflict resolution, race relations, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality, and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, the fight against poverty, and the development of social justice.
Following are interesting facts about Mandela which most people do not know of:
- He served as South Africa’s president from 1994 until 1999. He was the country’s first black president and the first to be chosen in a truly representational election.
- Mandela’s leadership concentrated on dismantling the country’s Apartheid regime, which had centred on legalised racial segregation.
- Mandela studied law at school and went on to become one of South Africa’s first black lawyers.
- In the 1950s, he was chosen as head of the African National Congress (ANC) liberation movement’s youth branch.
- When the government forbade the ANC for racial reasons, Mandela created a clandestine armed movement. He had previously participated in peaceful rallies, but when these were met with government violence, he moved on to assist an armed movement.
- Mandela was imprisoned for treason and conspiracy against the government from 1962 until 1990. He was condemned to life in jail but was freed early when the ANC was reinstated as a legal entity.
- While incarcerated, Mandela served as a rallying point for South Africa’s downtrodden who were fighting for their rights.
- Mandela is widely regarded as the father of modern South Africa. He played a key role in overthrowing the repressive regime and establishing democracy.
- Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his role in peacefully bringing down the Apartheid system and establishing the groundwork for democracy. In addition to the Nobel Prize in Literature, he received nearly 250 additional honours.
- After leaving politics, Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which concentrated on HIV/AIDS research, rural development, and school construction.