S: My Life ~ Nelson Mandela
BC: Project By: Torey Stutts August 20, 2011
FC: Nelson Mandela
1: My Life...
2: My father was a very respected chief and was known for his strictness. About a year after I was born, my father was found guilty of insubordination. As a result of that, we lost much of our land, cattle, and our income. We were going through a hard time and moved closer to family, where I grew up. In 1927, my father died of a lung disease. Chief Jongintaba was to take care of me.
3: On the morning of, we were bathed in the cold rivers, and then I waited in line for my turn. When it was my turn a spear sliced through my arm and I yelled Ndiyindoda, which means I am a man. | When I turned 16 years old, Regent (Jongintaba) decided that i was ready for the Circumcision ritual. This would mark the end of my childhood and the beginning of manhood. A group of other boys and I were led to an isolated place and the night before, women would come to dance and sing with us.
4: After I turned 16 and went through the ritual, I was accepted into Clarkebury, which was a very good school in my young days. It's the oldest and biggest education center in Thembuland. I liked life at Clarkebury and I focused on my studies to finish my junior certificate in 2 years instead of the normal three years. | Because manual labor was required, I worked in the garden of Reverend Cecil Harris. I grew to love gardening very much. I learned a lot there and was opened up to new things because of Clarkebury. | Present Day Clarkbury Celebrating Mandela Day
5: I enrolled at Witwaterstrand to try to get a law degree. This was a big deal to me because Wits only admits a few black people every year. However...I was not very welcomed there. | One time I sat next to a white man who instantly moved away and another time Professor H.R Hahlo said I shouldn't be studying there. I didnt let them stop me but after 6 years at Wits I failed some final exams and my appeal was declined.
6: In 1944 I met Evelyn, my first wife, at the Sisulu house. I learned that she was Sisulu's cousin and she was a nurse in training at a hospital. We didn't have a house of our own at first, but a year later she gave birth to our son, Thembi. Another year later we had a daughter, Makaziwe, however she was always sick and I tried not to let it bother me. I loved the family atmosphere and my wife, but i started to become very politically busy. | Evelyn | Mase | Oliver Tambo
7: After the state stopped paying attention to Tambo, we went under legal practice together under the name of Mandela & Tambo. We opened the business in a Chancellor House in Johannesburg. | We were the first and only legal practice of African American people only. We became very popular and worked very well together. He will always be a close and good friend. | Oliver Tambo
8: After being left by my first wife, Evelyn, I met Winnie through Adelaide Tsukudu, who introduced me to her. She also later married my good friend Oliver Tambo. | I fell in love with Winnie very fast and she supported my work. Winnie was the first black social worker at Baragwanath Hospital. We later got married in June 14th of 1958. | Nomzamo Winifred Modikizda
9: Ten of us ANC members were on trial for sabotage. On June 11, I was found guilty on all counts, and I, along with 6 others was sentenced to life imprisonment. We were taken directly to Robben Island, where we were treated unfairly. I spent much of my life on Robben Island because of the Rivonia Trial and I missed much of my family's life. Whenever I got permission to see Winnie, we were always supervised and the visits were only 30 minutes. | Robben Island
10: In 1969, both my mother and my oldest son died. My mother died from a heart attack and my son from a car accident. I was denied my request to attend my mother's funeral, and I was devastated. My relationship with my family was not very good, but was somewhat worse with my son. He had never written me or visited. He had his own life with a wife and children.
11: Monday May 9, 1994 I was sworn in as president. Everyone there started to applaud, cheer, and even cry. | The next day I was inaugurated as President in Pretoria. I remember Jets flying over with smoke trails the color of the flag. This was a bid turning point in the country.
12: I had previously given my word that I would hand over the presidency. In June 1999, during general elections, I handed over the presidency to Thabo Mbeki. I am very proud of what i had accomplished when President. There were many improvements in housing, health care, water, and much more. My life was going very well, and I had divorced Winnie, and met a women names Graca Machel. | Thabo Mbeki
13: In 1998, Graca and I got married. We had spent Christmas together and grew very close to each other. A little while later, we moved into a house in Houghton and settled in. | My 80th birthday became very special because that is the day that we got married. To celebrate, I threw a huge reception the next day and i really enjoyed myself.