Sunday, December 8, 2013

Six Surprising Facts About Nelson Mandela

#1 Rebel

Nelson is the name that Mandela was given by a missionary schoolteacher. His birth/Tribal name is actually Rolihlahla and it means ‘Troublemaker’ or 'Pulling the Branch of the Tree'.

#2 The Black Struggle

In 2010, Mandela's ex-wife Winnie was quoted saying, "Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside," in an article by Nadira Naipaul. Though he is praised for getting word out about the struggle for black Africans, some feel the deals he made more than 20 years ago only sold out the struggle. With many pointing out that to date, whites still earn up to six times more than blacks on average.

#3 Honorary Degrees

Nelson Mandela was a lifelong learner, philosopher and advocate of the importance of knowledge and education. He has honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities.


#4 Supporter of the Arts

Nelson Mandela was a huge supporter of the arts. He was willing to meet with artists to encourage them and cheer on their efforts. Some of his notable visits were with Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and even Beyonce.

#5 Simple Tastes

Though he could have had anything to eat each day, Nelson Mandela’s favorite breakfast was plain porridge with fresh fruit and milk. Hey, he lived to 95 so maybe he was onto something!

#6 Kind to Political Enemies

Mandela was known for some of the controversial people he embraced during heated political times. He refused to denounce connections to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who had lent support to Mandela in the past. His statements on the subject have always been to the point, once saying “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies. We have our own struggle.” He also had connections to Yasser Arafat and Muammar Gaddafi, a fact that many held against him until his death.

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