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Nelson Mandela: Tribute in Haiku

Not only was Nelson Mandela a revered head of state, he was a visionary. His death gives us cause to celebrate his life. He spent his 95 years as an advocate for change; not for black rights or white rights, but simply for equality. We celebrate his life in haiku.

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1) July 18, 1918

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela, into Thembu royal family in Mvezo, a village in south-east South Africa.

Rohilahla’s birth

meant a savior was born

Little did they know.

2) 1940

Mandela was expelled from Fort Hare University College in a dispute over student rights, when he took part in a student demonstration.

Already the thirst

for change ran through his veins, and

his quest expels him

3) 1952

In 1952, he established South Africa’s first black law firm in Johannesburg with Oliver Tambo as his partner.

A first of many

firsts; A step in the struggle

To fight for their rights

4) June 12, 1964

His famous speech, where he stated that democracy is “an ideal for which I am prepared to die,” is followed by a life sentence in prison. He was then sent to Robben Island prison, where he spent 18 years.

He spoke about how

Democracy is worth life.

Fight the oppression

5) July 5, 1991

Mandela was unanimously elected the President of the African National Congress (ANC).

With new freedom came

new position of power

new pathways opened

6) May 10, 1994

After South Africa’s first multiracial elections, ANC won with 62% of the vote. Mandela was then inaugurated as the country’s first black President.

After his first vote

He himself started leading

A new age began

7) December 6, 2013

The world lost a hero as Nelson Mandela died after battling illness.

In 95 years

He changed the world forever

may he rest in peace

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