Topic: Nelson Mandela

His excellency Nelson Mandela has passed away

Today is a day of sadness, and people are in mourning throughout the world.

This morning, Nelson Mandela, one of the world's most renowned freedom fighters, passed away aged 95.

His life's work touched millions of people the world over.

He was the first coloured President of South Africa, a country previously ruled by one of the world's most racist government regimes, Apartheid.

Nelson Mandela was born in a small village in the southern part of South Africa.  He was given the name of Rolihlahla by his father. At the age of 7, he was put into formal English education, and it was then that his teacher gave him the name Nelson.

After the passing of his father, he was taken in by the chief of the Thembu village.  It was at that point in his upbringing that he began being groomed in the traditional ways of leadership.

At the conclusion of his tribal leadership grooming, he was then sent to study law at university, and it was the culmination of these two sides of his upbringing that put him in good stead to be a future leader of mass proportions.

He was the voice and national symbol for freedom, justice and equality; this was also the underlying reason for his imprisonment for 27 years.

After huge scale protests such as these, and support from his own kinsmen and the globe, he was released from jail.

Three years after his release, in the first election where coloured people were allowed to vote, he stood for President of South Africa, and won by a huge majority.  To this day, he remains one of the most symbolic individuals in the history of this world in the fight for freedom and equality.