Article written by Sahil Satape
Artwork by Amy Titley
Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa’s Cape Province. Nelson Mandela grew up in poverty. His father died and he went to live with his uncle who wanted to marry him off to one of the village girls. But Nelson had other plans. He ran away to the big city of Johannesburg.
Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990.
Mandela received more than 260 awards over 40 years, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. From 1994 to 1999, Mandela was President of South Africa. He was the first such African to be elected in fully representative democratic polls.