‎”A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela in 1937

Today in South Africa, millions of children sang happy birthday to the nation’s beloved anti-apartheid freedom fighter and leader, Nelson Mandela. Mandela is ninety-four years old.

According to Kem Knapp Sawyer, author of Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela, Mandela spent more than a third of his life in prison after openly fighting the then oppressive South African government for equal rights for the black majority. “Mandela bravely devoted his life to the cherished ideal of ‘a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities.'”

In 1990, Mandela was released from prison amid the cheers of his people. Sawyer wrote, “Four years after Mandela’s release from prison… he became the first president of a democratic South Africa, serving as a symbol of peace, unity, and change, even in the face of enormously difficult social and economic challenges.”

For his ninety-fourth birthday, USAToday reports, “Mandela is expected to spend the day privately with his family at their homestead in his southeastern birth village of Qunu.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea are visiting South Africa this week to celebrate with Mandela and his family in Qunu.

“Meanwhile, communities in South Africa and around the world were dedicating 67 minutes of the day to volunteer work and projects for the needy–one minute to mark each of Mandela’s 67 years in public service.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Nelson Mandela, check out Kem Knapp Sawyer’s Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela (ISBN 9781599351674)

Published in: on July 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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