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I pay my tributes to an exemplary leader who was a global minister in the quest for esteem and equality and one of the most ideological and inspiring leaders of all time- Nelson Mandela. He is one of the most recognized symbols of human rights in our time, a man whose dedication to the freedom of his people is an inspiration for human rights advocates around the world.

Nelson Mandela came from the Madiba clan, a pagan race of the Xhosa people. Mandela was one of very few blacks in South Africa to study law. As a young man, he was proud of his ancestry, but he also respected the virtues of the British gentleman.

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Nelson Mandela is an example of courage, kindness, freedom, peace, and social justice. And he kept these principles intact in his whole life. Nelson Mandela is one of the most undisputed statesmen in the world, a legend in the fight against racism, South Africa's first black president, at the same time, the first president elected in the entire democratic process in the country. 

Full democracy has been established in South Africa. Freedom of speech and personal rights have been established in the multi-caste country. On April 27, 1994, millions of black South Africans were allowed to vote in parliament for the first time in their lives. In festive moods, people in long lines were waiting for the opportunity to cast their votes (as in this photograph from Soweto). Mandela's ANC won by a wide margin; also many whites voted for him.
He used to say, 'Struggle is my life. I will continue to struggle for freedom until the last day of my life. ' His life was for the people. On December 10, 1993, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm.

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in Transkei. He campaigned in the 1950s as a leader of the African National Congress ANC against the racial regime in South Africa. Although he had initially committed himself to the non-violent protest, he changed his position in the early 1960s and began advocating a sabotage campaign against the government. In 1961 he went underground, in 1962 he was arrested and sentenced in 1964 to life imprisonment. During his 27 years of imprisonment, he became a myth. In 1990 Mandela was released on international pressure. Thanks to his courage to dialogue with political enemies he managed to end the system of apartheid. From 1994 to 1999 Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. He died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95 years.

A few days after the death of Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2013, US President Barack Obama spoke at a funeral service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. "I cannot imagine my own life without his example," said the first African American president about the deceased. 
Desmond Tutu, South Africa's anti-apartheid priest, and humanitarian voice admired Mandela. According to him, Mandela saw an enemy as "someone waiting to be converted to a friend."


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