Nelson Mandela: The Greatest Leader of Our Time

Thesis statement;- Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest leaders in the entire world. In 1918, a man was born in South Africa, Eastern Cape Town province; the man was to become one of the greatest African leaders. His birth marked the beginning of a new South Africa although it was not realized immediately; it was attained 70 years later. It’s no doubt that Nelson Mandela is the greatest leader of our time. Nelson suffered a great in jail for 27 years. At this period, he never got in contact with the outside world except for the prisoners and the wardens. After he left prison he was able to socialize and live with other people as though he had never spent such a long period in custody.

Nelson Mandela was educated to the level of a lawyer and was the first black man to operate a legal farm in Johannesburg together with his friend in 1952. He joined the struggle against apartheid in South Africa which earned him a life sentence in prison in 1964. Mandela would have chosen not to join the struggle since he was educated, operating a law firm and he was capable of living a comfortable life away from prison.

But this man sacrificed his career and the comfort of living with his family to be in prison for the sake of the liberalization of his country. While in prison, he lost a lot, his mother died, he did not attend the funeral. At the same time when the son was killed in a car accident, he didn’t attend the funeral because he was denied the opportunity. It is surprising that this man forgave the perpetrators of his suffering. This is unlike a human.

Normal human beings in the world today will think of revenge first once they possess power. But Mandela forgave the perpetrators of his predicament. Prison is one of the greatest deprivations a man can get while he is on earth. It does not only make a person experience spiritual, emotional, and material resources deprivation that is needed for survival, development, and thrives. A person in prison is unable to enjoy his rights and achieve full potential or participate as a full and equal member of society but Mandela went through this and forgave the perpetrators of his misery.

Nelson Mandela created a South Africa that is non-racial and away from violence although he had spent so many years in custody. South Africa before the entry of Nelson Mandela people knew of violence, street fights, and many other evil things. Mandela was able to have needs of children taken care of after he left prison although for 27 years he never got in contact with children as Stengel R. (2008); puts it as

“Some ways his greatest deprivation was that he spent 27 years without hearing a baby cry or holding a child’s hand” ( Stengel R. 2008 P 2).

This man Nelson Mandela helped his country to get out of the conflict violence, exploitation, and apartheid and took care of the needs of millions of children who suffered during his leadership. Mandela as a lover of children restored the right of children to have love, protection, and care reduced conflict, and promised to tackle poverty in the country. He gave the South Africans children an opportunity that helped them to attain their full potential like other children on the continent.

Nelson Mandela has had respect among world leaders and it is one of the basic tenets of his leadership which he promoted in the short period he became the president of South Africa. In his leadership, he is not known to have acted in a dictatorial manner but he gave the people the opportunity to lead themselves while they believed in his leadership. It can be remembered at one point nelson was traveling out of the country and she decided to leave somebody in charge of the South African leadership. To the surprise of many, he gave the leader of Inkata freedom fighters to remain as a leader while they were away with the vice president.

In keeping with South African laws, nelson became conscious of observing and adhering to the laws of South Africa even at the time the leader of Inkata freedom fighters was causing a lot of insecurity in the country. He spoke well of people, promoted freedom of speech, and created contacts with Mohammed Gadaffi of Libya and Fidel Castro of Cuba at the time the world considered the two countries as the enemies of the world. He refrained from criticism and advised the United States that, Mandela chooses friends while the US chooses enemies. This is a leader with leadership styles that are independent and do not rely on what others are doing. He acted to the best of his knowledge and to his conscious.

Mandela was one of the greatest educators in South Africa, especially in prison. He became an inspirational leader in organized classes in prison. While in prison, he did not compromise with political ambitions and he became famous through organized classes and made him a potential leader in South Africa. He was the man behind educational classes in his country. He did not only inspire people to normal classroom education but even social education. When he left leadership in South Africa after one term in office, he brought new ways of doing things in Africa for African leaders remaining as a role model for many. In reference to Mandela Stengel R. (2008); argues

“Knowing how to abandon a failed idea, task or relationship is often the most difficult kind of decision a leader has to make. In many ways, Mandela’s greatest legacy as president of South Africa is the way he chose to leave it.” (Stengel R. 2008 P 3)

It is unlike Africa where leaders stick to power whether elected or brought to power by guns. He created an experience that will be followed by many African leaders although some like Robert Mugabe seem to think they are the right men for the job and no other person will perform their duties properly. Nelson ensured that he made as many friends as possible keeping them close to him by a gentle smile. Through his smile he kept many people adoring him.

The white rulers became Mandela’s friends and realized that the man meant good for the country. This is how Fredrick de Klerk adored Nelson and gave power for the sake of South Africa. Although the man was never an icon in public speaking he attracted huge crowds.

In conclusion, Nelson Mandela is one of the greatest leaders in the world today. In hid 90th birthday party held in London two months ago, everybody praised the old man and what he stood for was not left behind. Although he looked foggier, the old man showed instincts of love to the crowd and spoke of peace, love, and unity in the world today. This man ruled South Africa, putting aside his suffering and tribulations. This action makes him the greatest leader not only in Africa but in the world today.

Mandela stands out in society as someone to be admired, emulated, and looked up upon. He has been held in very high esteem and is being adored by many in society. The old man, in turn, does not spurn or reject this admiration accorded to him but on the contrary seems to enjoy some deep sense of satisfaction, gratification, and fulfillment when so venerated. This however to the unwary leaders of Africa is not good since their lifestyle does not commensurate with the picture the society has already for leadership.

Nelson has walked and is still walking on a tight rope in many respects and tribulations. He has remained a custodian of the virtues of good leadership in Africa. It is no doubt his name will remain in many scholars, students’ writers’ and leaders’, books, and heads for many years to come. You will not walk in any country in Africa and miss a child named after him.


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