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25 things you didn’t know about Madiba

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25 things you didn’t know about Nelson “Madiba” Mandela.

  1. In 2009 the United Nations declared that Nelson Mandela International Day would be held every year on his birthday, July 18th.
  2. He also had a nuclear particle, a prehistoric woodpecker and an orchid name after him.
  3. Highlights include 50 honorary degrees, the first person in history to be name an honorary citizen of Canada, and the last person to receive the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union.
  4. He possibly recieved more high profile awards than anybody in history with at least 695.
  5. In 1993, along with the last apartheid president of South Africa, F W de Klerk, he accepted the Nobel Peace Price in Norway.
  6. He also managed to meet his long time favourite band, the Spice Girls.
  7. At some point he made time for a cameo in the 1992 film Malcolm X.
  8. He was also a long time admirer of Fidel Castro who he met after his release from prison.
  9. He was friends with Muammar Gaddafi until his death. Although this sounds like lunacy in other parts of the world, Gaddafi was one of the few to support the ANC while the rest of the world was busy protecting their trade channels.
  10. After being released from prison he became the first president of post apartheid South Africa.
  11. He knew it too. Although western media always painted him as a hero he always insisted that he was “an ordinary man who had become leader because of extraordinary circumstances”.
  12. Nelson had a lot of personal vices he was known for. One of the biggest included womanising.
  13. Not surprisingly the US, UK and France all vetoed sanctions against South Africa during the brutally racist apartheid regime because they were trade partners.
  14. Because the ANC was declared a terrorist group by South Africa both the US and UK ended up putting Nelson on their terrorist watch lists.
  15. The US didn’t take him off until 2008.
  16. He loved boxing.
  17. He rejected numerous conditional offers of release.
  18. You probably already know this, but he was in prison for 27 years because of anti-government activity.
  19. His second wife was named Winnie, and she was crazy. She got arrested for torturing and murdering several people while Nelson was in prison.
  20. He was married three times, the last time when he was 80 years old.
  21. He even received guerilla training in Morroco and Ethiopia.
  22. Contrary to popular belief, he was not a pacifist. Although initially he opposed violence, he eventually deemed it necessary, but he never condoned violence towards civilians.
  23. He studied to be a lawyer and ended up as a high ranking member of the ANC, a group resisting apartheid.
  24. He grew up in a tribal village and was the first in his family to attend college.
  25. His parents didn’t name him Nelson. This name was randomly given to him by a teacher at school. His name was Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela.

— list25

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