Home » Archives » Facts

Nelson Mandela : FACTS


  • There are more than 33 million search results for "Nelson Mandela" on the Google search engine and nearly 53 million results for "Mandela".
  • At the age of 23, Mandela left the Eastern Cape with his cousin Justice Bambilanga to get out of an arranged marriage.
  • In 1944, Mandela helped form the ANC Youth League. In the same year, he married his first wife, Evelyn Mase.
  • In 1952, Mandela opened the first black legal firm in South Africa with fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo, providing free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who would otherwise have had no legal representation.
  • In 1973, the University of Leeds named the heaviest nuclear particle discovered the "Mandela particle".
  • In 1988, the former USSR issued a commemorative stamp in Mandela's honour.
  • In 1994, Mandela made a total of 57 speeches and statements. These included his victory speech and inauguration speeches delivered in Pretoria and Cape Town.
  • In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as the president of South Africa. In celebration, the South African Post Office distributed a special inauguration stamp. It became the best-selling item in the post office's history.
  • Mandela held 67 honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities.
  • Mandela appeared in the 1992 movie Malcolm X as a Soweto schoolteacher, where he recited one of Malcolm X's most famous speeches.
  • In 2004, zoologists Brent E. Hendrixson and Jason E. Bond named a South African species of trapdoor spider as "Stasimopus mandelai".
  • In 2005, Mandela was voted president of the world in an online international BBC poll, where viewers voted for a fantasy global government.
  • In 2005, Mandela's son died. Makgatho Mandela had Aids. Mandela's announcement of his personal Aids tragedy challenged the widespread taboo, which keeps many people from discussing an epidemic that infects millions of people across the continent.
  • In the 2006 Nickelback music video, If Everyone Cared, they feature Mandela's life story.
  • In 2007, Mandela formed The Elders group.
  • In July 2008, Mandela was officially removed from the US terror list.
  • During his imprisonment, several songs by local and international artists were written about his fight for freedom, including Nelson Mandela and Mandela Day.
  • Mandela was made an honorary member of the British Labour Party.
  • Mandela was the second person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship.
  • During his imprisonment, Mandela played the role of King Creon in the prison's Christmas play, Antigone.
  • After his release from prison, Mandela built a house on the family plot in Qunu that is a replica of the house where he spent his last years at Victor Verster Prison, in the Western Cape.
  • In celebration of his 90th birthday, Mandela was turned into the ultimate hero with the release of a comic book, Nelson Mandela: the Authorised Comic Book, in which he is the lead character.
  • On the fifth anniversary of his release, Mandela returned to Robben Island and visited his prison cell.
  • Desré Buirski was the designer behind Mandela's famous presidential silk shirts.
  • He was an honorary life president of the National Union of Mineworkers.
  • Mandela was an honorary citizen of Rome, Italy, and Olympia, Greece.
  • He was the 11th president of South Africa.
  • Mandela was known by six different names:
    • Rolihlahla - his birth name, meaning “pulling the branch of a tree” and, in colloquial terms, "troublemaker" in isiXhosa.
    • Nelson - the name he was given on his first day at school by a Methodist teacher, Miss Mdingane.
    • Madiba - his clan name. Madiba was the name of a Tembu chief who ruled in the Transkei in the 18th century.
    • Dalibhunga - given to him when he was 16 years old on achieving manhood after his circumcision.
    • Tata - meaning father in isiXhosa, it is used as a term of endearment.
    • Khulu - a term of respect for an elder.