Here’s the man who despite all odds, remained the Master of his fate and the Captain of his soul, and who rose to become the first African President of a nation plagued with Apartheid. With respect and awe, I present this caricature of Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela’s Biography by the Quirky Caricaturist
Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela the son of the Tembu Tribe’s Chief, on July 18, 1918. He completed his B.A. and then joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944.He completed his study of Law, but that was later, perhaps while he was in prison. At ANC, he worked towards the Apartheid policies of the ruling party. He was tried for treason in the latter half of the 1950’s but was acquitted in 1961. However, this didn’t dissuade Nelson Mandela from following his ideals, and he was once again charged with the attempt to overthrow the Government. Following his trial, he was sentenced to life-imprisonment, and he was jailed for 27 years, from 1964 to 1990. In 1990, he was released. It was in 1994 that South Africa held its first multi-racial elections, in which ANC (Mandela’s Party) won and came into power.
Nelson Mandela and Non-violence
Initially Mandela favored the non-violent protests against apartheid, but then he felt that there was a need for an armed rebellion. To this effect, he established and led the armed wing of the ANC, but all their plans were designed to ensure that there was no loss of life (only of property.)
In fact, the US wouldn’t allow Mandela and ANC party members to enter the US as they were designated terrorists in their earlier days.
Mandela’s Role in the Lockerbie Trial
In 1991, Two Libyans were accused of sabotaging a PanAm flight leading to the death of 270 people. US and Britain were facing problems in reaching an agreement with Muammar Gaddafi as to how the trial should be done. Mandela offered that the trial be held in South Africa, and it eventually did.
Though Mandela married thrice, his most famous wife is Winnie Mandela, who was a social worker and became his second wife. At the age of 80, he married for the third time. While he has six children from his first two marriages, there are none from the third. (Okay…I understand.)
Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize that Mandela won in 1993 tops his long list of honors, but among other awards, he’s also received the Bharat Ratna award from Government of India. Bharat Ratna translates to “The Gem of India” and it makes me wonder – but then he also received Nishan-e-Pakistan “Symbol of Pakistan?” award! See, there are things on which India and Pakistan agree:)
Invictus – The Movie
I have to tell you about the movie Invictus in which Morgan Freeman has played the part of Nelson Mandela. It’s a beautiful movie that focuses on the South African Rugby team and Mandela’s inspirational politics. The movie draws its name from a poem by William Ernest Henley, which has the same title. The word “Invictus” means “someone who cannot be defeated.”
According to Mandela, this is the poem that helped him stay strong those 27 years when he was in jail.
Invictus – The Poem
Here’s the poem that inspired Mandela during his incarceration:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley
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The Caricaturist turns Philosophical – Ouch!
Though the caricaturist seldom turns philosophical on this blog, she has to say this.
We live in a world of thoughts that we build in our mind. When we look around us, we look through windows of the mind, and the panes of these windows reflect our thoughts. If we fill our mind with positive thoughts, the troubles of the real world become simpler to manage; but if we do the opposite and allow negativity to darken our thoughts, no matter how beautiful and easy things might be, we’d end up making a mess of not only our lives but also the lives of those who love us and care for us.
If you’ve read it…don’t mull over it…if you mull over it…don’t blame me because I had warned you.