July 18th is celebrated as Mandela Day in honour of the iconic South African leader who played a pivotal role in ending the apartheid established by the white in South Africa.
Born to the Thembu royal family of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was the first black president of the country and his government successfully eliminated the apartheid established by the former government. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation by the white-government of South Africa in which only the whites had full political rights and the blacks were forced to live away from the whites.
Having finished studied law from the University of Fort Hare and the University of the Witwatersrand, Mandela had started working as a lawyer at Johannesburg. He became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics and joined the African National Congress in 1943. He was focused on overthrowing the apartheid established by the government and was actively involved in the anti-apartheid movements. He was repeatedly arrested under the charges of sedition and was finally sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964 in the Rivonia Trial.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison and was released in 1990 owing to growing domestic and international pressure and fears of a racial civil war. He negotiated with the government to end the apartheid. He organized a multiracial general election in 1994 in which his party was led to a landslide victory.
He served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and declined a second presidential term. He later involved himself with various works of charity and philanthropy through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela is held in the highest regard in South Africa and is described as the Father of the Nation. Internationally, he is looked upon as an iconic figure who propelled the values of democracy and social justice. He received more than 250 honours from around the world including the Bharat Ratna and the Nobel Prize for Peace. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Mandela Day all over the world. Having lived a fulfilling life, this noble soul breathed his last on 5th December 2013 at the age of 95.
Nelson Mandela is a legend who continues to inspire hope and conviction across generations. He demonstrates what one can achieve through persistence and sheer determination. His book Long Walk To Freedom, gives an autobiographical account of his life and his struggles, and gives an insight into the great qualities that made him the man he is known to be. Yera salutes this great hero and champion of social justice and equality, and hopes for a world which is rooted in humanity and freedom.