2 years ago, on april 2, 2018, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, died. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the « Mother of The Nation ». She waged a courageous fight to liberate Black South Africans from repressive white-minority rule. She was arrested several times for her efforts, including being sent to prison in 1969 for 17 months, where she spent the majority of the sentence in solitary confinement.
1- He lived up to his name: Mandela’s birth name was Rolihlahla. In his Xhosa tribe, the name means pulling the branch of a tree or troublemaker. (The name « Nelson » was given to him by his teacher on his first day of elementary school. It was the 1920s, and African children were given English names so colonial masters could pronounce them easily).
2. He was a master of disguise: When Mandela was eluding authorities during his fight against apartheid, he disguised himself in various ways, including as a chauffeur. The press nicknamed him « the Black Pimpernel » because of his police evasion tactics. « I became a creature of the night. I would keep to my hideout during the day, and would emerge to do my work when it became dark, » he says in his biography, « Long Walk to Freedom. »
3. A bloody sport intrigued him: Besides politics, Mandela’s other passion was boxing. « I did not like the violence of boxing. I was more interested in the science of it – how you move your body to protect yourself, how you use a plan to attack and retreat, and how you pace yourself through a fight, » he says in his biography.
4- There’s a woodpecker named after him: From Cape Town to California, streets named after Mandela abound. But he’s also been the subject of some rather unusual tributes. Scientists named a prehistoric woodpecker after him: Australopicus nelsonmandelai. In 1973, the physics institute at Leeds University named a nuclear particle the ‘Mandela particle.’
5- He quit his day job: He studied law at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and opened the nation’s first black law firm in the city in 1952.
6- In prison, he was highly skilled at secretly passing notes. During his incarceration on infamous Robben Island, Mandela and the other prisoners would communicate by leaving notes in discarded matchboxes, under piles of dirty dishes, and taped in toilet tanks. Using these methods, Mandela and the other prisoners organized a hunger strike and succeeded in their effort to improve their living conditions.
7 . He had a cameo in a Spike Lee film: He had a big part in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic « Malcolm X. » At the very end of the movie, he plays a teacher reciting Malcolm X’s famous speech to a room full of Soweto school kids. But the pacifist Mandela wouldn’t say « by any means necessary. » So Lee cut back to footage of Malcolm X to close out the film.
8- He probably won more awards than anyone in history. In addition to the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, Mandela has received more than 250 awards, including honorary degrees from more than 50 universities worldwide. In 2001, he became the first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen, and he was the last person to receive the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union.
.9- There’s a global holiday in his honor. In 2009, the United Nations declared that Nelson Mandela International Day will be celebrated every year on July 18 (his birthday). The purpose of the day is to honor Mandela’s legacy and promote community service.
10- He was on the U.S. terror watch list: Mandela wasn’t removed from the U.S. terror watch list until 2008 — at age 89. He and other members of the African National Congress were placed on itbecause of their militant fight against apartheid.
Martin Luther King’s leadership
Malcolm x’s pugnacity
Patrice Lumumba’s trustworthiness
Kwame Nkrumah’s resistance
Muhammad Ali’s determination
Cheikh Anta Diop ‘s erudition
Thomas Sankara’s integrity
Steve Biko’s activism
Nelson Mandela’s endurance
Tommie Smith’s pride
Harriet Tubman’s humankind
Sojourner Truth’s strength of conviction
Rosa Parks’s bravery
Stockely Carmichael’s commitment
Steve Biko’s activism
Marcus Garvey’s dedication
Bob Marley’s enlightened mind
Tupac Shakur’s eloquence
The greatness is within us ALL…
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
« The day will come when history will speak… Africa will write its own history…
it will be a history of glory and dignity. » – Patrice Lumumba
» Freedom by any means necessary ». Malcolm X
« While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas” – Thomas Sankara
“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”
« Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. » Nelson Mandela
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.”
« I believe it is very important to teach our people more about our history.
We can never be free until we know about ourselves. »
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where
they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
6 things you may not know about Whitney Houston
1-Her Nickname Was Nippy
Houston’s nickname, given to her when she was a baby by her father John Houston, was Nippy. The story goes, Houston was a fussy baby who kept kicking off her winter blanket at night. Her father, who repeatedly covered her up, would affectionately say to her, “Nippy, seldom right.” Nippy was also the name of a cartoon character who constantly got into trouble. When the singer formed her own management company, once run by her father, she named it Nippy Inc.
2-Cece Winans was Houston’best friend
CeCe Winans was Houston’s best friend and the godmother of her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Together, their voices were peerless on the soaring ballad ‘Count on Me.’ Obviously, from the title of the song, it was an ode to their enduring friendship. The single reached the top 10 of the Billboard R&B Songs chart and was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 1994 Grammy Awards, though it did not win.
3- Houston Kept It All in the Family
Houston’s family worked for her and with her. Her brother Gary Houston, also a singer, once sang the duet “My Endless Love” with her on the concert stage. Her other brother, Michael Houston, penned several songs with her for the “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack. Gary’s wife, Patricia Houston, was her manager. And her longtime bodyguard was Patricia’s brother Ray Watson.
4-Houston Turned Down ‘Cosby Show’
Houston auditioned for and got the role of Sondra Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” But she turned it down. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, she told director Jay Sandrich that she couldn’t sign the contract because she was going to be a singer and had to be free to tour, even though she didn’t even have a record deal. “I said ‘Well, who told you you can sing?’” recalled Sandrich, “and she said ‘My mother, my aunt.’” “The Cosby Show” became the biggest hit of the 80s and Houston became an international pop star.
5-School Named After Her
Whitney has a school named after her (1997) – formerly Franklin School, now the Whitney E. Houston School of Creative and Performing Arts in her hometown of East Orange, New Jersey
6- Activist and Philantropist
Whitney Houston was a stalwart supporter the anti-apartheid movementand Nelson Mandela. During her days as a model, Houston refused to work with any agencies who did business with South Africa
In 1988, she performed in London at Freedomfest, an event thrown in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday. The concert was watched by 600 million people and was credited with raising worldwide consciousness about the imprisoned leader, leading many believe to his release. In 1994, after Mandela’s election, Houston performed in a special series of South African concerts, all proceeds of which were donated by Whitney Houston and her foundation to South African children’s charities, including two children’s museums and several orphanages. In 1989, Houston founded Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, which helped kids with cancer and AIDS. She was also involved with many other causes, including the United Negro College Fund, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. In 1991, she donated her royalties from her chart-busting rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” to the Red Cross. In 1997 , Houston’s “Classic Whitney Live from Washington, D.C.” HBO special concert reportedly raised more than $300,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund.