The Loss of Nelson Mandela
By Molly Brauch
On December 5, the world lost one of its most important figures. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, and changed the world with every breath he took. Mandela was most well-known for fighting against South Africa’s system of apartheid, or severe racial segregation. Despite violence against him by the South African government, and even a long period of imprisonment, Mandela struggled peacefully to win equality.Mandela was arrested in 1962 because of his activism against the apartheid system.
After his release from prison was announced in February of 1990, Mandela urged foreign powers to continue to press South African officials for law reform to ban apartheid forever. In 1994, and at 77 years of age, Mandela himself was elected president of South Africa in the country’s first democratic election. He retired from politics in 1999. At age 85, Mandela publicly announced his retirement from the public eye, and chose to live the rest of his life in peace, although he remained outspoken about some topics, including AIDs, until the end of his life. Mandela died last week on December 5, at the age of 95. The world will no doubt miss one of its greatest leaders.