Nelson Mandela: Interesting facts and trivia

Published: Dec 06, 2013, 09:45 IST | By A Correspondent |

With the anti-apartheid icon passing away, we bring you a collection of some intriguing facts from the great man's life and times

Mandela was expelled from his school in Fort Hare for refusing to rejoin the student’s council after a peaceful protest about better food

Nelson Mandela once worked as a guard at a mine

Nelson Mandela

His tribal name ‘Rolihalah’ means ‘troublemaker’

Mandela's early career background was in law

He opened the first black legal firm in South Africa, with fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo, and gave free legal counsel to many blacks

In 1962, Mandela was convicted of high treason and sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. He was released from prison 27 years later

Nelson Mandela’s election to the presidency was unique in more ways that one:
He was elected shortly after a lengthy stay in prison
He was the first modern black president of his country
It was the first election where all citizens were allowed to vote

Mandela’s first marriage was to Evelyn Mase. He divorced her in 1957 after having three children. Then, he married Winnie Madikizela and divorced her in 1992 after she was convicted of kidnapping. Six years later, he married Graca Machel on his 80th birthday

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

His autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ was published in 1995

In 2001, he was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer

Mandela retired from public life at the age of 85

He received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award, in 2006

The 2009 movie ‘Invictus’ told the story of Nelson's interest in the South African Rugby team as a unifying force for his country 

Mandela made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa

After being in and out of hospital several times, Mandela was discharged on September 1, 2013 though his condition remained unstable

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