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Things You Didn't Know About Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, Jul 5, 2022, 1:03 pm

1.Mandela's Favorite Dish

Mandela's favorite dish to eat was tripe and onions. He dined with Kings and Queens but never lost his love for simple African dishes.

2.Mandela was Set Free By President F.W. De Klerk

Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is pictured here with F.W. De Klerk former President who engineered Mandela being set free. F..W. De Klerk is on the right.

3.The Opening of the FIFA World Cup

Mandela was alive and well enough to be a part of South Africa's very proud moment of hosting the FIFA World Cup. By this time Nelson Mandela was a household name and many were there just as much to see him as the games.

4.Mandela Dancing

Although South Africa as a country went through a lot, they are what is known as a Nation of Dancers. There is dancing all over the streets. Even during protest, protesters danced if it was a peaceful event. Here we see Mandela teaching Canadian Prime Minister how to let his hair down and just dance!

5.Where Nelson Went to Prison

The prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years is on Robben Island. Robben Island is off the coast of Cape Town on the very tip of Africa. Mandela could probably see Cape Town and the famous 'Table Mountain' from his cell window.

6.Sanctions on South Africa

Countries like the USA, the UK and France placed South Africa under sanctions during apartheid. This meant no trade or loans would occur between these countries. They also boycotted several industries. South Africa, rich in minerals, gold and other precious metals seemed to survive the sanctions very well. The release of Mandela changed this.

7.Ruled a Terrorist

During the apartheid era the African National Congress was declared a terrorist group by South Africa. This led all major counties including the United Kingdom to add him to their 'Terrorist Watch List'.


8.Blood Sport

Mandela's sport of choice was boxing. He boxed semi-professionally. Here is a photograph of him mock boxing with a fellow boxer.

9.Winnie His Wife

One of Mandela's most public wives was Winnie Mandela. She was charged with torturing and murdering people under the guise of apartheid. However, most of the people she murdered were on her side. She still remains a free woman under ANC rule.


10.Mandela the Ladies Man

Despite spending half of his life in prison and the other half fighting for freedom, Mandela was a bit of a lady's man. He married three times and fell in love again at aged 80 whereupon he got married again.

11.Gorilla Trained

Mandela was not such a pacifist in his early days. He was determined to see change and was prepared to fight to the death for it. He received Gorilla training in both Morocco and Ethiopia. Primarily he was seen as a terrorist. Others called him a 'freedom fighter'.


12.Mandela The Lawyer

His chosen subject at University was law as he always had a keen interest in law. Perhaps already he was challenging the laws of the country? He did graduate with a law degree and did practice briefly before joining the ANC.


Nelson Mandela grew up on an African tribal village. There was no running water or modern conveniences. These tribal villages still exist today. Mandela was the first child in his family to go to university.

14.Rolihlalha The Trouble Maker

Nelson Mandela's real name was Rolihlahla. He was given the name Nelson by his primary school teacher. In the apartheid days it was traditional to give black people 'white names' since white people found their names hard to pronounce. His real name means 'pulling the branch of a tree', which in turn means troublemaker in Xhosa.


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