Nelson Mandela International Day – July 18
Nelson Mandela Day: Today is the Birth Anniversary of Nelson Mandela, who is called ‘Gandhi’ of Africa. Nelson is known as the messenger of peace. No one can forget the contribution of Nelson Mandela in the fight against apartheid. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Mandela, who followed the path of non-violence, spent 27 years in jail fighting against apartheid.
Nelson Mandela Day: ‘Mandela Day’ is celebrated every year on 18th July.
In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared his birthday (July 18 ) as ‘Nelson Mandela Day in his honor in recognition of his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle, and since then every year on his birthday ‘Mandela’ Day’ is celebrated. Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in Mwezo, Eastern Cape, Union of South Africa to Gedla Henry Mfakeniswa and his third wife, Nekufi Noskeni. He was the first of his mother Noskeni and the third of 13 brothers among all the children of his father. Mandela’s father, Henry Muejo, was the tribal chief of the town. In the local language, Sardar’s son was called Mandela, from which he got his surname.
“NELSON MANDELA HAD TO SPEND 27 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FIGHTING AGAINST APARTHEID AND INJUSTICE. MANDELA, WHO FOLLOWED THE PATH OF NON-VIOLENCE, WAS AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN 1993.”
After becoming a worker of the first African National Congress in 1943, Mandela became the founder of the ANC Youth League. After this, Mandela studied law and started practicing law in Johannesburg with his partner Oliver Tombo. Together they raised their voice against apartheid. For this reason, 155 activists were prosecuted along with him in 1956, which was abolished after four years. The ANC was banned in 1960. Mandela also campaigned for the country’s economy. On 5 August 1962, he was arrested for inciting the workers to strike and leaving the country without permission.
He was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. From 1964 to 1990, he had to spend 27 years of life in prison for fighting against apartheid and injustice. He was kept in a prison on Robben Island where he had to work as a coal miner. During this, he wrote his biography secretly. His biography written in prison was published in 1994 in the form of a book called ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
HISTORY OF NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY
“Nelson Mandela International Day, also known as Mandela Day, is an international observance in honor of the revolutionary Nelson Mandela, celebrated annually on his birthday, on July 18. The day was officially set by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first observance of Mandela Day held on July 18, 2010.”
Nelson Mandela International Day shines a light every year on the legacy of a man whose monumental achievements changed the 20th century and shaped the 21st. His values and determination — a deep commitment to human rights, freedom, and justice — are reflected on, and are a source of inspiration for others. Mandela advocated for the rightful dignity and equality of every living person and encouraging engagement and solidarity across all borders. His relentless pursuit for equality was paralleled with his status as the founding father of peace in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela remains a symbol of power by resisting oppression. In times of turbulence, Mandela’s legacy teaches everyone to choose dignity over humiliation, speak up during injustice, and forgive rather than hate. He once said,
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”In 2014, the Nelson Mandela Prize was established by the UN General Assembly — an award recognizing the achievements of those who went far and beyond to serve humanity.
9 Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela
“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
“Long speeches, the shaking of fists, the banging of tables and strongly worded resolutions out of touch with the objective conditions do not bring about mass action and can do a great deal of harm to the organization and the struggle we serve.”
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
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