The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela helped bring an end to apartheid, and has been a global advocate for human rights. Mandela was a member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, and he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa. His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the antiapartheid movement both within his country and internationally. Released in 1990, he participated in the eradication of apartheid and in 1994 he became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multiethnic government to oversee the country’s transition.
When Mandela was taken into captivity the political system and the whole country became overly corrupt. Before Nelson was sent to prison, he had opened the first black law partnership in South Africa with Oliver Tambo, which set off the bomb for Nelson to be sent to prison. This infuriated people because at this time South Africa was highly segregated, and racial tensions were high between white and blacks across the world. However, after Nelson Mandela was released from prison it had been 27 years since he had been sentenced. Times are different now; blacks are equal with whites in South Africa, they can go to the same restaurants, pools and even use the same restrooms. Also, blacks can now run for political offices. Four years later Nelson Mandela was elected unopposed as president of South Africa.
Being captured for 27 years, one would think Mandela would be very bitter toward the ones who brought this upon him. His reactions were just the opposite. When asked how he didn’t show a hint of bitterness toward his captors he answered, “I would not wish what was done to me and my people on any human being.” His response blew people away, but was taken as a very wise act. Mandela was a leader who wished to change the present, not to repeat it.
Struggling countries such as: Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq are in desperate need of leaders like Mandela because of his unique qualities. He was able to turn a country in despair into a country admired by so many more. To be as good leader of a leader as Mandela, you have to have some very rare and hard to obtain traits. Some traits that made Mandela such a good leader were that he was selfless, generous, forgiving, and loving. These are just few of the many traits you must possess to be a good leader and to help the countries in need turn into a country helping those in need.