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FFormer South African president, Rolihlahla Mandela, was born on 18 July 1918 in a small village in Transkei called Mvezo. Later he was sent to school in the neighbouring village of Qunu where a teacher gave him the name "Nelson". 

Madiba, as he was affectionately known, has been called a freedom fighter, a great man, Tata (father of the nation), and a global icon among countless other names. He was known as an activist, served time as a political prisoner, became South Africa's first democratically elected president, an international peacemaker, statesman, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

His incarceration on Robben Island only solidified his role as a leader within the African National Congress (ANC). His arrest was the start of what was to become a 27-year incarceration during which he would become the most famous political prisoner in the world and emerge as the future president of South Africa.

Did You Know?
IIn December 1952, in partnership with Oliver Tambo, Mandela opened South Africa's first black law firm in central Johannesburg.

IInitially he was sentenced to five years for leaving the country illegally and incitement, but then came the Rivonia Treason Trial during which he was sentenced to life.

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