oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Healing a nation
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
(1918-2013) : obituary

Volume 81, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



From humble beginnings in a small Eastern Cape village, Nelson Mandela became the father of the rainbow nation of post-apartheid South Africa. The name given to him at birth, Rolihlahla, colloquially means "troublemaker", which is how many white South Africans viewed him when he became an anti-apartheid revolutionary. After serving as a political prisoner for 27 hard years, he emerged from prison to become the first President of a democratically elected government in an election that gave universal franchise to all citizens. He became widely revered as a statesman and peacemaker, which earned him the fond nickname of Tata, an isiXhosa word which means "father". He is also widely referred to as Madiba, which is his clan name, and refers to the ancestor from whom he is descended.

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