100 years of Nelson Mandela

100 Years of Nelson Mandela

Before Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa, before he won the Nobel Peace Prize, before he helped bring apartheid to an end in 1994, he was a revolutionary, a man charged with treason and sedition, for which he served 27 grueling years in various prisons across his homeland.

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Nelson Mandela was born 100 years ago today, July 18, 1918, in the small village of Mvezo, South Africa. To celebrate the centennial of the activist-icon, WORLDZ asked some of our Nelson Mandela Changemakers to reflect on how his life personally impacted them. The Changemaker Award is given each year in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to recognize those who are carrying on President Mandela’s legacy. Perhaps as expected, our award winners paint the picture of a gracious, resilient, thoughtful and optimistic idealist – one of those rare historical figures who improved the moral arc of human history.