Nelson Mandela served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and a member of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1962, he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison. Mandela’s reputation grew gradually while he was in prison. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gained momentum. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom. Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990. After his release, he pushed himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had planned almost four decades earlier. Mandela returned to the leadership of the ANC and led the party in the multi-party negotiations that led to the country’s first multi-racial elections. As a result of his dedication to the anti-apartheid movement, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize right before his presidency in 1994. The Nobel Peace Prize 1993 was awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”. (1)
A quick look at the life of Nelson Mandela (2)
(1) From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1993, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1994
(2) Biography: Need To Know: Nelson Mandela. Bio. True Story, 2010. Film. <http://www.biography.com/people/nelson-mandela-9397017/videos/nelson-mandela-mini-bio-2078930980>.