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Nelson Mandela's Legacy Essay

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Nelson Mandela is one of the most prolific names in the common era, but most don’t know why. Many high-profile people around the world praise him for the amazing works that he has done. The impact that he has had on his home country of South Africa and the affect that he put on other world leaders around the world. Fighting for what’s right and inspiring the world is he legacy that he will pass on. Nelson Mandela is a fighter for the world against tyranny during his life time, and for years ahead.

Nelson Mandela was a firm believer in freedom and equality for all, especially in his home country. Even after being told by the government multiple times that his plans would never work, he continued to push and fight for his cause. The apartheid was what he was fighting and that thought that he was the one to make change. “It was Mandela, even though his long and lonely incarceration, whose sheer, unwavering resolve to end the iniquities in South Africa assuaged the despair of millions of blacks who excised under the tyranny of apartheid” (Western Mail/Dec 2013). Even being in jail for years on end fighting for what he believed in. He continued to think of ways that he could fight the apartheid while in jail. He never gave up on his cause and continued to fight no matter what. Even with the government putting Nelson in jail and destroying his foundations that he created, he still refused to give up. “With the banning of the ANC, he was detained until 1961 when he went underground to lead a campaign for a new national convention. Umkhonto we Sizwe with the banning of the ANC, he was detained until 1961 when he went underground to lead a campaign for a new national convention. Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC, was born the same year. Under his leadership, it launched the campaign against the government and economic installations” (Western Mail/ Dec 2013). The government tried multiple times to destroy what he fought so hard to create, but it didn’t sway him in the slightest as he continued to create new organizations to push his ideals of equality. One thing that Mandela was that nothing he ever did was violent, as it would counter-act the entire ideals that he was trying to push peaceful change. “A legal and non-violent campaign for black rights were stymied by a government which was not only unresponsive but positively preferred to push the ANC into clandestine activity so that it could fragment and criminalize the movement” (4). It was a real and true struggle for the government to make him out like a terrible person as he was very peaceful.

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Nelson Mandela’s story has spread beyond South Africa and even outside of the continent. Everyone from major world leaders to common people from the furthest parts of the world knew Nelson Mandela. He knew this and used it to his advantage. “Mandela Urged the graduation class of 700 to find time to examine if they have behaved well in a civilized world. He stressed “self-examination can lead to a better life”. Whether in public life or not, real leaders “identify those good men and women, Black or White, no matter their attitudes towards you, and find a way for them to contribute to society” (EBSCOhost). Mandela once he ‘retired’ continued to travel around the world talking to everyone about what he has done and how he wants everyone else to do the same as he did and fight for their rights as human beings. This furthered people’s knowledge and understanding of what he did and what he fought for. “As a student of history and a huge believer in the power of the human spirit, I know his life will continue to serve as a beacon for change, throughout South Africa and around the world” (6). Since Mandela has passed, his legacy has continued on as many people have taken the spirit that he’s presented to his country has been spread out through the world. Even high-class world leaders such as Bill Clinton have taken notice and has used Mandela as an influence in his life. “President Bill Clinton said: ‘More than any other human being, Madiba has been the great inspiration for the life I lead and the work I do’” (1). World leaders have mocked what Mandela did in South Africa in their individual nations to give everyone the best chance to give their people the best rights that they deserve.

Nelson Mandela’s death on the back end of 2013 was a tragedy for the country of South Africa and for the world, as we lost one of the most influential leaders that the world has ever seen. But he made sure to carry his legacy beyond his death by he set up multiple foundations in order for his works of justification and peace would continue. A prime example of this would be his children’s fund. “Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, May 1995. This is for all South Africans, an unforgettable occasion. It is the realization of hopes and dreams that we have cherished over decades. The dreams of a South Africa which represents all South Africans. It is the beginning of a new era. We have moved from an era of pessimism, division, limited opportunities, turmoil and conflict” (Western Mail/ Dec 2013). Mandela even after his presidency of South Africa ended and retired. He still devoted his life too improving the lives of kids everywhere and even beyond his death. Furthermore, “Mandela’s understanding of the future was also an unequivocally multi-racial one. All would be liberated, not only blacks” (4). This shows how his plans for his foundation expand beyond continuing what he did in South Africa. Right before his death, Mandela was very active in the fight against HIV and AIDS in his home country. ‘46664’ is the campaign that Mandela launched to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS. This campaign is one of the most recent that Mandela started that was a hard fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. And even with expanding his influence after his death in his own country, it expanded to the rest of the world. “It has life only as it is made and remade. We do not aspire to be custodians of legacy. We aspire rather to be makers of a living legacy” (5). Mandela knows that his time as a world leader is up, and he wants to inspire the next generation to be better than he was and continue to do good works around the world.

Nelson was an inspiration for his home country, and he was one of the most influential people in the world. With all of the major world leaders of the time looking at him for a guide on how to preserve basic human rights. His legacy will live on forever with his ideology of creating everyone equal in all walks of life.

Works Citied

  1. 'Media Release: 46664 ('. MediaNet Press Release Wire, Apr 27, 2009. ProQuest,
  2. 'Nelson Mandela was Revered all Over the World as a Man of Peace and Forgiveness, a Man Who did Not Know the Meaning of the Word 'Malice''. Western Mail, Dec 06, 2013, pp. 6. ProQuest,
  3. Miller, Robert G. ‘Nelson Mandela: a living legend is honored in Louisiana by two universities’. The Free Library 01 January 2013. 13 December 2018.
  4. 'Leading Article: Nelson Mandela: A Leader Above All Others'. The Guardian, Dec 07, 2013, pp. 56. ProQuest,
  5. 'Tending the Living Legacy of Madiba'. The Argus, Jul 14, 2008, pp. 13. ProQuest,
  6. 'MANDELA TRIBUTES'. The Weekly Gleaner, Dec, 2013, pp. 1. ProQuest,
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