Nelson Mandela is in “critical condition”, he suffers from a lung infection. Mandela would turn 95 in July. Mandela was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1988 during his 27 years in jail.
His family has been in the middle of controversy, in May her daughters Makaziwe and Zenani started a court case against some associates of Mandela, the scandal has been in the media. Mandela´s name became a brand for his family, they are getting profit from a reality show, a wine label, etc
His life, in some ways, has been painful and successful. His work is a legacy in terms of human rights, democracy and justice. He is one the last great figures of the XX century. Although some critics and Margaret Thatcher called him a terrorist and a communist, he is man of integrity and in his days as leader he never abused his power.
His years of a rebel started when he went to Law school, there he faced racism, in the school he became friends with communists, Jewish people, liberals and Indians. University was a window of a new world, he saw it and understood it with different lens.
After World War II there was a movement of racial segregation that took place in South Africa, where a black minority (Afrikaners) and white population were ruling over black majority. It lasted from 1948 to 1994.
Nelson Mandela dreamed with a fair country, he couldn´t understand why people were not allow to rule their own country and he started to rebel against the system and spoke up for the first time about equality. As result of that, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1962, he was charged for instigating strikes among the workers and he intended to escape the country without permission. In the prison of Robben Island Nelson Mandela stayed for 18 years, where he was isolated from non-political prisoners.
In 1982 Nelson Mandela was transferred to Cape Towns´ prison Pollsmoor, where he was allow to have 52 letters a year, but inside he always had communication and work close with the United Democratic Front.
In 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed from his last prison Victor Verster. He met with activists and the press. From the very beginning he said that his main focus will be to give the black majority the right to vote.
Right after he was freed from prison he started negotiations with F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and begin the multi-racial elections in 1994. Leading the ANC (African National Congress), he won and became the first black president of South Africa.
His legacy is remarkable as he encouraged different measures and new reforms to get rid of human rights abuses. He focused in rebuilding a fragmented nation.
After his government ended he was asked to rule one more time, but he decline the offer, due to his years in confinement made him a wise man and he knew the dangers of power.
When Nelson Mandela finished his work as president he focused in helping people; made a crusade to combat poverty and AIDS through Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Nelson Mandela is a controversial figure of the XX century, his legacy will remain in the hearts of South Africans, his thoughts opened the doors of dialogue and understanding, his ideals could have died in prison, but instead his hope make him to look for justice and togetherness, he is an example of courage through adversity, he understoodto the fibers of society like very few leaders, he understood the vices of humans and the darkness and light of mankind. He is acclaimed and respected as the “Father of the Nation” in South Africa.
Today, South Africa is going through problems of unemployment, the quality of education is not what it should be, and crime has increased in the last few of years, problems that the nation need to overcome in order to evolve, they have many values left as legacy by Mr. Mandela.
He achieved many awards like the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, the Lenin Order, the presidential Medal of freedom, the Order of Canada, the Bharat Ratna of India, etc.
Mandela was honored by Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and Johnny Clegg, . His life has been portrayed in television and cinema. Numerous statues and monuments have been erected in his name in UK and South Africa.
But, his true legacy is the message that he gave to the world, principles that some leaders of today should practice. He fought oppression with dialogue. He is a living example of humility and greatness.
When he was freed from prisonhe didn´t look for revenge, instead he looked for peace, fairness and unity.
The generations ahead will understand better his legacy and his actions. Nelson Mandela fought very hard to achieve freedom and to free a whole nation in the name of justice.