Nelson Mandela Biography: Education, Age, Children, Net Worth, Wife, Facts, Spouse, Wikipedia, Cause of Death


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born 18 July 1918) is the first black Head of State and President of South Africa, an anti-apartheid activist, statesman and former president of the African National Congress (FACILITATE).

He left behind a legacy as a revolutionary leader and one of the greatest leaders the country has ever had.

A trained lawyer, he spent most of his adult life fighting against apartheid in South Africa.

Because of his selfless actions in fighting for a better life for black South Africans, he was imprisoned by the government for twenty-seven years.

After being released, he ran for and won the Presidency. However, after serving only one term, he decided not to run again and wanted to take on the position of an elder statesman.

South African politician

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela: History, Biography, Photos
Wiki Info & About Data
First and last name: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Stage name: Nelson Mandela
Born: July 18, 1918 (105 years old)
Die: December 5, 2013, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, South Africa
Year old: 95 years old
Place of birth: Mvezo, South Africa
Nationality: South Africa
Parents: Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, Noqaphi Nosekeni
Children: Zindziswa Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Madiba Thembekile Mandela, Makaziwe Mandela, Makgatho Mandela, Makaziwe Mandela
Height: 1.85 m
Siblings: Daligqili Mandela, Nothusile Bhulehluth, Mabel Notancu Ntimakhwe, Baliwe Mandela, Lieby Piliso, Constance Mbekeni Mandela, Nomabandla Mandela, Mhlalwa Mandela, Makhutswana Mandela
Boyfriend • Husband: Evelyn Ntoko Mate (m. 1944-1958), Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (m. 1958-1996), Graça Machel (m. 1998-2013)
Job: Politician • Activist
Net value: 10-20 million USD

Early life

Nelson Mandela comes from the Thembu royal family.

He was born in the village of Mvezo, in Umtata, present-day Eastern Cape.

He came to the world on July 18, 1918.

A Xhosa by tribe, he was named Rolihlahla. This name when translated into English means “Trouble maker”.

His great-grandfather was King of the Thembu people. Therefore, the name Mandela is the first name of his grandfather.

He came from a polygamous family as his father had four wives, Nelson Mandela’s mother was the third. He has twelve brothers and sisters.

The name “Nelson” was given to him by his teacher. He was the first person in his family to go to school. Although his father was a pagan, his mother was a Christian. And she is the reason why he started school in the first place.

When he was just 9 years old, he lost his father to the cold hands of death after a battle with lung disease. After his father died, his mother left him in the care of one of his uncles, the regent of the Thembu Clan.

Staying with his uncle gave him the opportunity to attend Church services regularly. Living in the palace, he developed a love for African History while listening to the stories of older travelers.

When he turned sixteen, he underwent mandatory circumcision in Ulwaluko, which marked their transition from boyhood to adulthood.


Nelson Mandela began his studies at a local Methodist school in his mother’s village. He then attended the Methodist Mission School near the palace, where he studied English, Xhosa, Geography and History.

He attended Clarkebury Methodist High School for his high school education. He attended the school because he wanted to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become a royal privy councillor.

After two years of study, he enrolled at HealdTown Methodist College, located in Fort Beaufort, after obtaining his Junior Certificate. While in school, he participated in sports activities in his free time, excelling in boxing and long-distance running. During his second year at school, he was appointed perfect person.

After graduating from HealdTown, he decided to attend college. Accordingly, he continued his studies at Fort Hare University in 1939. However, he was suspended by the university authorities after his first year for participating in student politics.

While working a day job, he continued his studies at the University of South Africa on a correspondence course. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943. With a Bachelor’s degree, he chose to further his education by studying Law at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Nelson Mandela was the only black Law student in the university and he experienced racism. However, with the desire to change the status quo and fight against the apartheid regime, he joined the African National Congress (ANC).

An African nationalist himself, the ideals of the ANC attracted Nelson Mandela and he became actively involved in the organization. He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the organization’s youth group. And the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) was founded in 1944.

As Nelson Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANC, he built allies who shared his ideals. Their ideology was that the ANC should take direct action, such as strikes and boycotts, against the government’s apartheid efforts. In 1950, he was elected national president of the ANCYL and took a seat on the ANC’s federal executive council.

By 1952, he was known as one of the leading black political figures in South Africa. However, he was arrested that year after giving a speech to more than 10,000 people. This address sparked a series of protests in Durban. In May 1952, Nelson Mandela became regional president of the ANC (Transvaal ANC). However, the government falsely accused him of restricting his movements, affecting his right to rule.

In 1956, Nelson Mandela and most of the ANC’s national executives were arrested and charged with treason against the government. After a six-year trial, the Judge found them not guilty.

Nelson Mandela faced the greatest challenge of his activist journey when he was arrested by the police in 1962. The police had issued an arrest warrant for him months before. They finally caught up with him and booked him into Marshall Square Prison in Johannesburg.

He was tried and convicted of inciting workers to strike. He was sentenced to five years in prison. While in prison, he was again charged with treason and plotting to overthrow the government. The trial, known as the Rivonia trial, began in December 1963 and ended on June 12, 1964 when the judge sentenced him and his two co-defendants to life in prison.

For the next eighteen years he spent time in prison on Robben Island. He was forced to break rocks into gravel and was constantly harassed both physically and verbally by white prison guards. He also worked in a limestone quarry, and due to constant exposure to the glare of lime, his eyesight was impaired.

In 1982, he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town. Over the years, many people have called for his release, but the government has steadfastly refused to release him. He spent six years at Pollsmoor before being transferred to Victor Versen Prison in 1988.

Finally, Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990. He walked out of prison holding the hand of his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, while thousands of people waited outside to celebrate his release. His release from prison was broadcast live around the world.

In 1991, after traveling to many countries, he attended the national conference in July 1991 with the participation of 1,600 delegates. As a result, he was elected the new president of the ANC at that conference.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela ran for president of South Africa under the ANC. The election held on 27 April 2021 saw the ANC win with a majority of 63%.

His presidency began in 1994 and ended in 1999. He decided not to run for a second term due to his old age and poor health. By 1997, he resigned as ANC president along with Thabo Mbeki, his successor. Thabo Mbeki also served as vice president of South Africa. Midway through his term, he assigned more duties to Thabo.

He retired from public life in June 1999 to live a quiet family life and divide his time between his two homes in Johannesburg and Qunu. He founded the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999 to fight the rise of HIV/AIDS in the country, promote rural development and build schools.


Personal life

After a long period of lung infection, Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. His death was announced by South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, in a statewide broadcast. He was given a state funeral attended by dignitaries from around the world.

During his life, he was married three times and had six children. When he died, he was survived by seventeen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren.

His first wife was Evelyn Ntoko Mate in 1944, and they divorced in March 1958. He decided to remarry and married Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in June 1958. The couple divorced in 1996 .

After courting her for several months, Nelson Mandela married Graçal Machel, who was twenty years his junior. They got married on his 80th birthday.

Nelson Mandela’s children are Zindziswa Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Madiba Thembekile Mandela, Makaziwe Mandela, Makgatho Mandela and Makaziwe Mandela.

Net value

While alive, Nelson Mandela chose not to live a lavish lifestyle and donated most of his earnings to charity.

At his death, his net worth was estimated at $10-20 million.

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