The life and history of Nelson Mandela are quiet intriguing and also interesting. He is often mentioned as one of the most famous fighters against South African apartheid regime. In those days, he was viewed as a terrorist who tried to bring down the state. Others, on the other hand regarded him as a local  hero. It is true that Nelson Mandela took part in these forms of underground political resistance that often took the form of violence; however, the intentions were noble but sometimes misguided. At the time, most countries in the Western world were not willing to support or provide aid to the ANC. Like many of his fighting colleagues, Nelson Mandela was arrested and sent into exile or prison in Robben Island. Since his release, he has been championing the cause of the less fortunate and promoting freedom and equality in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela spent about 27 years in prison and those who are old enough can remember the dramatic scene when he was released from jail in the year 1990. He later led the ANC party to victory four years later, thus, becoming the first black president of South Africa. This was a memorable event in the history of South Africa. Those who experienced the Soweto uprising in the 70s would have found it hard to imagine a day when blacks and whites can live together and purse a common goal.
The years following Nelson Mandela’s presidency, those who felt they had been wronged during the apartheid era wanted vengeance instead of justice. The difficulty for any new government like the one headed by Nelson Mandela was how to deal with social justice when the wounds of those who suffered are still not healed? How do you fix the past and not fall into the same trap? It is with this in mind that truth commission was started. It was a way for South Africans, blacks and whites to understand the past and deal with the future without losing their vision. Not everyone was happy with the move but it did create stability and allowed common citizens to breathe in an atmosphere of progression.
Nelson Mandela is an emblematic figure, however, he did have his personal issues like everyone else. He had to go through 3 divorces and he is now married to his third wife. That said, he is still a well respected elderly statesman and no doubt will leave a lasting impression on South Africans political landscape.
There are those who think that Nelson Mandela is the only thing holding South Africa together. That is likely a misconception because those who have suffered in the past and understand the effect of racial discrimination will definitely not want to go back to the way things were. There is so much that can be said about Nelson Mandela but the simple truth is, he's an ordinary man who achieved extraordinary things.