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Nelson Mandela’s Day

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Today, 18 June, is the international Nelson Mandela’s Day. Many countries are celebrating the memory of this inspiring figure that has changed the destiny of South Africa.

Born in this day in 1918, today we celebrate 100 years from his birth. But why is this man so important and well-known all over the world?

He grew up during the Apartheid period, when South Africa was ruled by white people (that were the minority of population). Black people weren’t allowed to have the same social conditions than the white population, neither the vote right.

But the young Mandela believed in rights, like equality, and he fought for them.

He always refused any impositions, first of all the marriage one when he was 23, and for this reason in Johannesburg he he studied to become a lawyer.

He joined the ANC, African National Congress, a political party against all apartheid manifestations and firstly he improved it founding the Young League of the same movement, then he turned into one of the leaders of the party.

Since some manifestations turned violent during the 60s, in 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island, and his name has been banned from public spaces.

In that moment he become the icon of a freedom fighting shared all over the world.

His braveness inspired poetry, songs, political movements and thousands of young people, to fight against discriminations.

He had spent 27 years in prison before 1990 when the white President William De Klerk set him free. One year later apartheid was banned from South Africa and in 1993 African people were allowed to vote for the first time.

In 1993 he won the Nobel Peace-Prize for his hard work and in 1994 he become the President of his country.

He started the appeasement process with white people, turning into a role model for all other conflicts all over the world, like in Northern Ireland.

In 2004 he succeeded in win the World Cup for 2010 in South Africa and it become a very success.

In 2013 he started to get ill and after six months in vegetative coma, he died on 5th December, with all the eyes of the world looking at him.

In facts, we still know he is the flag of everyone that is oppressed and discriminated.

The Old Lion still know inspires people, with his invaluable legacy. Today the whole world is remembering the man that believed that “a winner is a dreamer that never gives up”

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Carlo Colleluori

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