Saturday, December 7, 2013

IN HONOR OF NELSON MANDALA: Life Story and Timeline of His Life; Long Live, Nelson Mandala; President Obama: Mandela ‘Took History in His Hands and Bent the Arc of the Moral Universe Towards Justice’; His Cause Shaped Obama’s Awakening; Fare Thee Well, Nelson Mandela…

Thank you Nelson for standing up to injustices in our world and for helping in the cause of ending racial prejudice!!

Video: Nelson Mandela’s Life Story and Timeline of His Life and Times

This 13-minute video of Mandela’s life was produced by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

You can head to the Foundation’s website – – to leave your condolence message.

Timeline: Life and Times of Nelson Mandela, The Liberator

Following are key dates in the life of South African freedom fighter and president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who has died at the age of 95.
July 18, 1918 - Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela is born in a small South African village called Mvezo. When he starts school in 1925, his teacher gives him the name “Nelson.”
1937-1940 – Attends Fort Hare University College.
1940 -  Expelled from Fort Hare University College for participating in student strike.
1941 – Moves to Johannesburg, becomes mine policeman.
1943 -  Joins African National Congress (ANC).
1944 -  Marries Evelyn Mase, trainee nurse.
1948  – South African Government introduces apartheid policy. The National Party comes to power and introduces an apartheid policy of racial segregation, limiting black Africans’ freedoms. The ANC launches campaigns to resist the laws.
1952 -  Opens first black law practice in Johannesburg with Oliver Tambo.
December 5, 1956 -  Among 156 political activists arrested and charged with treason.
1958 -  Marries social worker Nomzamo Zaniewe Winifred “Winnie” Madikizela, having divorced Mase in 1954.
March 21, 1960 -  Security forces massacre 67 protesters in Sharpeville. Government bans ANC and Pan African Congress and declares state of emergency.
1961 -  Acquitted in treason trial, along with co-accused.
December 16, 1961 -  Launch of ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), with Mr Mandela as commander-in-chief.
August 5, 1962 -  Captured and, after an eight-month trial, is  sentenced on November 7 to five years in prison for incitement to strike and leaving country illegally, having earlier travelled to Ethiopia and Algeria for military training.
1963 -  While serving this sentence is charged with sabotage along with other ANC activists arrested in Rivonia near Johannesburg.
June 12, 1964 -  After famous speech from dock (democracy “is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”), is sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island prison off Cape Town.
July 5, 1989 -  Meets president PW Botha and then on December 13 with FW de Klerk, who later succeeds Botha.
February 11, 1990 -  After 27 years, is released from prison.
July 5, 1991 -  Elected ANC president.
April, 1992 -  Separates from wife Winnie.
October 15, 1993 -  Wins Nobel Peace Prize with FW De Klerk.
April 27, 1994 -  Votes for the first time in his life in the country’s first all-race elections. The ANC wins 252 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly, and Mandela is elected president of South Africa. De Klerk is sworn in as deputy president.
May 10, 1994 -   Inaugurated as President.
July 18, 1998 – Marries Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel.
1999 -  Steps down as president after one term in favor of Thabo Mbeki and tours the world as a global leader.
2001 – Mandela is diagnosed with prostate cancer and begins medical treatment.
June 1, 2004 -  Announces his retirement from public life.
January 6, 2005 -  Announces that his son Makgatho had died of AIDS.
2008 – Celebrates 90th birthday with much fanfare at Hyde Park London Concert
April 19, 2009 -  Makes his final political address in a recorded message at an ANC election rally.
July 11, 2010 -  Appears at the closing ceremony of the football World Cup in South Africa.
January 28, 2011 – Discharged from hospital after two days of treatment for an acute respiratory infection.
February 25, 2012 -  Admitted to hospital to treat a long-running abdominal complaint.
May 30, 2012 -  Makes rare television appearance to receive symbolic flame marking the ANC centenary.
December 8, 2012 -  Admitted to hospital in Pretoria to be treated for a lung infection and gall stones. He was discharged after 18 days.
January 6, 2013 -  Doctors say Mandela has “recovered” although he continues to receive care at his home in Johannesburg.
March 9, 2013 – Admitted overnight to a Pretoria hospital for a “scheduled medical check-up”. Discharged the following day after “successful” tests.
March 27, 2013 – Mandela is readmitted to hospital for a recurrence of a lung infection. He was released a few days later.
June 8, 2013 – The 94-year-old returns to hospital with a new lung infection. His condition is reported as serious but stable.
July 18, 2013 – Celebrates his 95th birthday in hospital. The South African government said Mandela was “steadily improving”.
December 6, 2013 – Dies at his home in Johannesburg surrounded by family, at the age 95.

“Long Live Nelson Mandela, Long Live!”

South Africans held a candlelit vigil outside the house of Nelson Mandela on Thursday night. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
South Africans held a candlelit vigil outside the house of Nelson Mandela on Thursday night. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
sage/ golden age gaia:  Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting for peace and freedom.  Hundreds of people from Johannesburg, SA, held vigil at Mandela’s home
(Story 1).   Story 2 contains the short biography submitted when Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Story 1 – ‘Long live Nelson Mandela, long live!’

Despite the late hour, wellwishers from all over Johannesburg descended on Nelson Mandela’s house on hearing the news.
First came boys and girls in pyjamas. A touch that Nelson Mandela, who spent long years in prison missing the sound of children, would have loved.
Then they came, in ever greater numbers, men and women, black and white, waving lit candles and South Africa national flags and of course cameraphones, gathering outside Mandela’s house in Houghton, Johannesburg, because they had to be there.
No matter that it had long gone midnight, a time this affluent, tree-lined suburb is usually silent and only the most daring pedestrian ventures forth.
On this night, people came from far and wide and the air filled with chatter, chants and songs including the national anthem and a half-mournful, half-joyous rendition of “Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela, ha hona ya tshwanang le yena” (“There is no one and never will be anyone who compares to him”).
A group toyi-toyi-d in the street clapping and singing their hearts out. Someone shouted: “Long live Nelson Mandela, long live!”
Police struggled, a little gentler than usual, to keep people confined behind tape and allow their flashing light vehicles through. TV satellite vans and cameramen added to the melee. A helicopter clattered overhead.
Among the relaxed multiracial throng was Vusi Moyo, 31, a waiter. “I was at home drinking beer and I saw on TV that Nelson Mandela had died,” he said. “I felt my heart. Why did Mandela die so soon? We still need these men to lead us.”
He added: “These will be difficult days for South Africans. They’re singing the songs they sang when he was in jail because they want to remember him. It’s a very sad day for us.”
Rebecca Mmatli, a 57-year-old in her domestic worker’s uniform, had been woken to be told the news and she, too, had to be here. She had delivered flowers to Mandela’s house before. “I had to see if it’s really true,” she said. “I didn’t expect him to die yet.” She was arm in arm with a white friend, Vivian Goldwajg, 49, who said: “It’s history in the making. We’ve lost an icon who changed the course of the country. It’s incredible sadness, but we’re grateful for the change that took place.”
By David Smith, The Guardian – December 5, 2013

Story 2 – Nelson Mandela – Biographical


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law.
He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.
After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity.
On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.
During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. 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 gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.
From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1993, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1994

President Obama: Mandela ‘Took History in His Hands and Bent the Arc of the Moral Universe Towards Justice’

Stephen Cook / golden age gaia: Oh, how I love the pure energy of love and light in that beautifully eloquent phrase:”bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.
America’s first black president, Barack Obama, says Nelson Mandela was a ‘profoundly good’ man who ‘took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice’.
Obama – who met the former South African president briefly only once in 2005, but was inspired to enter politics by the anti-apartheid hero’s example – has paid a sombre heartfelt tribute within 45 minutes of Mandela’s death being announced.
‘We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again,’ Obama said in a televised statement, hailing his political hero for his ‘fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others’.

Obama said Mandela, in his journey from a ‘prisoner to a president’, transformed South Africa and ‘moved all of us. ‘He achieved more than could be expected of any man.’
‘Today he’s gone home and we’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.
‘He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages.’ Obama recalled how his passion for change was stirred by taking part in an anti-apartheid rally – his first ever political act.
‘The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears,’ Obama said.
The president ordered that flags on US government buildings, ships at sea and installations be lowered to half mast through to sunset on Monday, in a rare honour for a foreign leader.
He also called South African President Jacob Zuma to offer his condolences and said that South Africa would continue to draw strength from Mandela’s legacy as the hero who defeated the racist apartheid system.
First Lady Michelle Obama, who met the former president in South Africa in 2011, took to Twitter to praise Mandela’s ‘extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility’.
Mandela’s fragile health overshadowed President Obama’s trip to South Africa in June, and there had been fears that the former South African leader would pass away while Obama was in the country.
The president decided against visiting Mandela in the hospital, reasoning he would be a distraction, and met with members of his family instead.
But his entire trip became a prolonged tribute to Obama, and the president took his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha to Robben Island, where Mandela was held in spartan conditions by the racist apartheid regime.
In one wrenching shot taken by his official photographer, Obama was pictured in the tiny cell where Mandela once lived, with his emotional daughter in his arms.
He also walked with his family around the bleak limestone quarry on the island – off the coast of Cape Town – where Mandela endured years of backbreaking and futile work under the eyes of white South African guards. Obama is expected to travel to memorial ceremonies for Mandela in South Africa once they are scheduled.
By Stephen Collinson, AFP – December 6, 2013

His Cause Shaped Obama’s Awakening


Entering his sophomore year at Occidental College, Barack Obama sought a political movement to match his personal awakening, which he signaled to friends and family at the time by reclaiming his African first name.
Barry became Barack that year. He had read Du Bois, Fanon, Malcolm X — an array of authors writing about the black struggle for liberation in his country and in others shaking off the legacy of colonial rule around the world.
That is where he looked for — and found — a figure and a cause to channel his rising political enthusiasm: Nelson Mandela, then imprisoned on a lonely island off Cape Town, and his outlawed African National Congress.
Obama would help lead the student push for the Southern California college to divest from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa.
“As the months passed I found myself drawn into a larger role — contacting representatives of the African National Congress to speak on campus, drafting letters to the faculty, printing up flyers, arguing strategy — I noticed that people had begun to listen to my opinions,” Obama wrote in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”
“It was a discovery that made me hungry for words.” Thirty-three years later, Barack Obama, elected twice to his nation’s highest office, memorialized Mandela from behind a podium far from those heady student-led strategy sessions at Occidental.
In a statement he delivered Thursday evening with halting emotion in the White House Briefing Room, Obama called his participation in the divestment movement “my very first political action, the very first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics.”
And he located the very start of his long walk to the Oval Office — through Columbia University and Harvard Law, through Chicago’s South Side and Springfield — in the inspiration set by Mandela, the prisoner-turned-president of a nation ruled for generations by a white minority.
“I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set,” Obama said. “And so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.”
The two men were born half a world and four decades apart. Obama’s birth came a year before the start of Mandela’s nearly 30-year imprisonment. And their achievements are far different in scale, even if the outlines of their lives trace similar lines. Mandela became one of his country’s first black lawyers, while Obama, decades later, became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
After negotiating the end of apartheid, Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa. Obama became the first black president of his country a century and a half after the end of slavery.
Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for helping ensure a democratic transition through a plea for racial forgiveness. Obama was awarded the same prize 16 years later, acknowledging in his Nobel Lecture that “compared to some of the giants of history who’ve received this prize — Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight.”
By Scott Wilson,WashPO – December 6, 2013

Fare Thee Well, Nelson Mandela…

We’re paying tribute today to Nelson Mandela, a great man – and definitely a lightworker/loveholder/lightserver – who never denied his self proclaimed foibles…but stood tall for a future where we all are equal – and one.
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

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