Why is Nelson Mandela important?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013    

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FORMER South African president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died at age 95. The announcement, made on Thursday, December 5, 2013 by current South African President, Jacob Zuma, left the world mourning a legend.

His story is one that most of us are aware of, which speaks of courage in the face of adversity. Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 and was released in 1990. He was jointly awarded with FW de Klerk, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected South Africa's first black democratically elected president in 1994. After serving a five-year term ending 1999, he stepped down from office.

After his retirement, through his foundations, Mandela was active in charity work, raising funds to build schools and clinics in South Africa's rural areas.

For his influence and an abundant legacy, teenAGE wishes to pay tribute to this extraordinary icon.

Why was Nelson Mandela important to you?

To me, he embodies the action of restraint, and demonstrates that there are two types of strength: the strength required to lash out, but the even more difficult strength of holding back.

Sashaine Henry

Nelson Mandela was important to me because he broke down barriers and fought for equality in a time when racism was the thing. He also proved that you should never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in even if it mean going against government. He was a great leader, a good inspiration and an even better icon. RIP

Louis Davis

He represents a voice that will transcend time. He fought for the rights of his people. I can certainly appreciate the sacrifices he made because ultimately it would have had an influence on the life I lived here in Jamaica. His life not only represents the struggles of the African heritage, but it symbolises the fact that we should stand our grounds at all costs. Many times people desire change, but are too timid to make the first step. Nelson Mandela is important to me because he demonstrated what being courageous really meant.

Kareece Brown

Well, we all know he fought for the rights of blacks in South Africa. But Mandela is important to me because he showed us that we ought to be the change that we need to see in the world. Rather than sitting down and complaining, get up and try to make a change, and if it's something you are strongly convicted about, stick to it and never give up because one day your dream can be realised and you can impact your society.

Courtnay Patterson

Nelson Mandela for me represented a symbol of hope and inspiration of what any human being can achieve. He stood up for what was right in a time fighting for his people when no other would dare to. His acts of courage cannot even be described adequately in words. He was and still is an icon and an idol to those of the younger generation and that of generations to come.

Toni-Shae Panton

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