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The Father of a Nation

He was born in MVEZO on July 18th 1918, in the Thembu Royal Family. As a child he lived in a rural area, among games and in contact with the traditions of his People

He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and Witwatersrand. He was the first black man who studied at that university. He became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics.

He was a man of extraordinary personality and power of seduction. He represented human dignity. He was an activist, a political leader, a communist and a philanthropist- He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities.

In 1955 he was elected as Honorary Secretary of the National Action Congress of all Africa. In 1962 he was tried and imprisoned, sentenced to life imprisonment, in the Rivonia trial. He was in prison for 27 years. During his long imprisonment, the government of his country rejected all requests for freedom.

He was a legendary figure representing the suffering and lack of freedom of all South Africans.

Frederick de Klerki, President of the Republic, opened the way to dismantle racial segregation, and he released him.

He received more than 250 honorary prizes including the Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Frederick De Klerki in 1993. In 1994 he became the first black president of South Africa. He promulgated a new constitution, introducing a liberal framework, measures for an agrarian reform, combating poverty and expanding health services.

Mª Amor Aguareles

English for Fun 4A

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