- Nelson Mandela was born on this day in 1918
- South Africans commemorate the day as Nelson Mandela Day
- Thousands of people will take to the streets for 67 minutes of giving back
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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on this day in 1918. His birthplace was the small village of Mvezo, in the district of Qunu near Umtata. Mandela became involved in politics as a student at Fort Hare University after he met Oliver Tambo, who became his life-long friend.
Mandela has become the most celebrated figure in South Africa and is also acknowledged with just as much respect around the world.
On 12 June, 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island. From Robben Island he was transferred to Pollsmoor prison and then Victor Verster prison before he was released in 1990. The legendary human rights and anti-apartheid activist served 27 years behind bars. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
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Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994. In 1999, at the end of his first term in office, he voluntarily stepped down. He had also resigned as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1997 at the Mafikeng Congress.
In June 2004, Mandela called a press conference to announce his retirement from active politics and public life. However, he continued to engage in many social programmes and community development initiatives through the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
In 2009, the United Nations declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day, to be celebrated annually. It was first celebrated in 2010.
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Today, thousands of South Africans will be heading out to spend their 67 minutes in commemoration of the late former president Nelson Mandela's birthday. The idea behind the concept was to get the public involved in charitable activities.
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