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In this event, you’ll learn What Nelson Mandela’s first job was and how he got into law without ever finishing college Which unexpected event led to Nelson becoming a key member of the African National Congress How Mandela won cases creatively for his clients as a lawyer Why he managed to evade the state’s persuasion several times How Nelson created the MK and went underground with his efforts Why he received a life sentence, not a death sentence What Mandela did to pressure the South African government from inside prison How a bold request led to the first negotiations to end apartheid What happened on the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison About the Author Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948 before being arrested in August 1962. In November 1962 he was sentenced to five years in prison and started serving his sentence at Robben Island Prison in 1963 before being returned to Pretoria, where he was to later stand in the Rivonia Trial. From 1964 to 1982, he was again incarcerated at Robben Island Prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor Prison, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestsellers Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. Overview The Birth of the “Troublemaker” Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in a small village in South Africa’s Transkei region. His father named him Rolihlahla, which colloquially translates to “troublemaker” in Xhosa. This moniker proved prophetic. Mandela was born to a noble lineage. His father was a chief of the Thembu tribe, part of the ancient Xhosa nation. As a child, Mandela was a “herd-boy,” tending calves and sheep. His meager diet consisted primarily of “mealies” (corn). He attended a small one-room schoolhouse in his village, often wearing his father’s cutoff pants secured by a string around the waist. “My life, and that of most Xhosas...was shaped by custom, ritual and taboo.” When Mandela was nine, his father died. His family sent him to live with Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the Thembu’s acting regent in Mqhekezweni, “the great place,” Thembuland’s provincial capital. He received a good education for a black South African of his generation, studying at Healdtown, a Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort, and at the University College of Fort Hare, in Alice. While he was a student, the regent arranged for him to marry the daughter of a Thembu priest. He refused and ran away to Johannesburg. A Rebel from the Start Mandela went to work as a night watchman at Crown Mines, a local gold mine. He used subterfuge to get the job, pretending that the regent, a respected figure throughout black South Africa, approved of his move to Johannesburg. Mine officials quickly learned the truth and told Mandela to return immediately to Mqhekezweni. Refusing to leave Johannesburg, Mandela lived briefly with a cousin. Then he moved in with Reverend J. Mabutho, but he did not tell the minister that the regent wanted him back in Mqhekezweni. When Rev. Mabutho learned of Mandela’s deception, he made him leave his home, but arranged for him to stay with neighbors.

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