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Nelson Mandela was a world-known politician and civil rights activist who fought against the Apartheid in Africa, and who was president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Read on to learn more about the courageous and selfless life of Nelson Mandela or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918.
- His actual first name was Rolihlahla, but because he attended school, the teacher gave him an English name to make it easier. She gave him “Nelson”, and it stuck with him.
- He was born in Transkei, which at the time was part of South Africa.
- Nelson was born into Thimbu royal family, and his father was the chief of Mvezo.
- Since Nelson was born into a good family, he was given better opportunities for education than many black people in Africa at the time.
- While he attended school, he noticed that black people weren’t treated very fairly, which made him ask lots of questions.
- His father died when he was 9 years old.
- While Nelson was growing up, South Africa was ruled by white people, who didn’t allow black people to have much say in terms of rules, regulations, and how to live their life.
- Most black people were poor and worked as servants. Those who worked usually worked as a slave to a white person, in the mines hunting for gold, working on factories, and doing farming jobs.
- Nelson attended Fort Hare College and studied English, anthropology, politics, and law.
- At the end of his first year at Fort Hare, be became involved in the Students’ Representative Council.
- He left the school in 1939 after protests about the way it was run.
- He attended Communist party gatherings and was surprised to see people of different races and ethnicities co-existing peacefully.
- Shortly following his studies at Fort Hare, Nelson came home to find that he had an arranged marriage waiting for him. As he was opposed to this, he moved to Johannesburg to continue his studies.
- After studying at the University of Witwatersrand, Nelson obtained his law degree. He had to endure a lot of racism from that school, as he was the only black student.
- Nelson then joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944, who believed that Africans should fight independently for their rights and political freedoms.
- Along with an old friend, Oliver Tambo, Nelson set up the first black law firm, where people came to them for help and advice. Nelson usually led the people into the ANC to find strength and to speak up.
- Realizing that they needed to look to young people for support against black subjugation, the ANC, with Nelson’s help, established the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).
- By 1948, a system of racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa was put into place, called the Apartheid. Public places, social events, housing and job opportunities were all segregated based on the color of people’s skin – as a result, black people had limited rights in South Africa, and white people were allowed to work, play, and live where they wanted.
- Nelson traveled to many conferences and spoke to lots of people about the changes needed in South Africa and the social injustices that were happening as part of the Apartheid.
- He wanted black people to have the same rights as white people, and wanted protesters to approach these problems peacefully, in a way that Mohandas Gandhi would have approached them.
- In 1956 Nelson and over 100 other people were arrested for treason, which is the crime of betraying your country by overthrowing the government.
- In 1961, when he was freed from prison, he began having secret meetings with reporters and activists. He had to do this in secret because the government and police were trying to hunt him down.
- In 1961, South Africa parted ways from the Commonwealth, which is a group of member states that were once under British control.
- Many people from around the world supported the Apartheid, and stopped trading with South Africa. People even stopped visiting and coming to watch sporting events.
- On August 5, 1962, Nelson was captured and charged with trying to incite workers strikes, terrorism, and trying to sabotage and overthrow the government. In 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison. He was 46 years old at the time.
- It was later revealed that the CIA informed South Africa of Nelson’s whereabouts, which led to his arrest.
- Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. During that time, the world noticed the anti-Apartheid movement in Africa, and support for it began. By 1990, under gruelling pressure from millions of people from around the world, Nelson was released from prison.
- Once he was released, he continued to fight against the Apartheid, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
- In 1994, all races were allowed to vote in South Africa, and Nelson was elected president of that country.
- He remained president until 1999. He brought about lots of changes in South Africa that allowed all people to be treated equally.
- Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013 after battling a lung illness. He had 6 children.
Nelson Mandela Worksheets
This bundle includes 2 worksheet packs with over 32 pages that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Nelson Mandela who was a world-known politician and civil rights activist who fought against the Apartheid in Africa, and who was president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Worksheet Pack 1:
- Nelson Mandela Facts.
- Opinion Piece.
- Nelson Mandela Crossword.
- Nelson Mandela’s Political Career.
- Dinner with Nelson Mandela.
- Nelson Mandela Wordsearch.
- “Free Mandela” Poster.
- Nelson Mandela Acrostic.
- Nelson Mandela Quotes.
- In His Memory.
Worksheet Pack 2:
- Nelson Mandela Facts
- The First South African President
- Famous Civil Rights Activist
- Mandela’s Timeline
- Nobel Peace Prize
- What is Apartheid?
- South African Tribes
- Meet “The Elders”
- Mandela’s Legacy
- Let’s Celebrate!
- World Peace
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Link will appear as Nelson Mandela Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 6, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.