Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in a village near Umtata in the Transkei on the 18 July 1918. His father was the principal councillor to the Acting Paramount Chief of Thembuland. After his father s death, the young Rolihlahla became the Paramount Chief ward to be groomed to assume high office. However, influenced by the cases that came before the Chief s court, he determined to become a lawyer. Hearing the elder?s stories of his ancestors? valour during the wars of resistance in defence of their fatherland, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.
After receiving a primary education at a local mission school, Nelson Mandela was sent to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute where he matriculated. He then enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare for the Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was elected onto the Students Representative Council. He was suspended from college for joining in a protest boycott. He went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence. He entered politics while studying in Johannesburg by joining the African National Congress in 1942.
At the height of the Second World War a small group of
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