News, Politics

“Father Of South Africa” Nelson Mandela Responding Well To Treatment In Hospital

Nelson Mandela at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, July 4 1993. Image: White House Photograph Office, Clinton Administration
Nelson Mandela at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, July 4 1993. Image: White House Photograph Office, Clinton Administration

Mandela is one of the most well-known and respected people in the world.

He is a symbol of freedom to the people in South Africa. But at 94 years old, his fight for equality for the blacks of his country has slowed down.

Now he is in hospital fighting a lung infection that has affected him since he was in jail for 27 years for trying to overthrow the government.

Doctors say he is responding well to treatment; he is in serious but stable condition.

To many people around the world, Mandela is known as a great hero.

He fought for the freedom of blacks in South Africa.

During the 1950s until the late 1980s*, South Africa was ruled by a relatively small number of white people. Black people, in the majority in the country, had few rights.

The separation of white people and black people** was known as “apartheid.”

Blacks were not allowed to be citizens, and were not given the same rights as white people. Services for black people were greatly inferior to those provided to white people. Black people were not allowed access to the best schools, hospitals, beaches or many other services to which the country’s white people had access.

Apartheid was denounced around the world, but South Africa’s government refused to change its policy.

Nelson Mandela, and people who followed him, wanted to change things.

However, the government sent anyone to jail who didn’t go along with its policies.

Forty-nine years ago, Nelson Mandela went to jail but it didn’t stop him.

While he was in jail, people in South Africa and around the world were inspired by him. Mandela became a symbol of hope and freedom for human injustice around the world.

In the early 1990s, the opposition against the South African government’s policies became too much for the white minority in the country. In 1990, President Frederik Willem de Klerk started the process of bringing down apartheid.

Mandela was let out of jail and eventually became South Africa’s first black president. He remained president from 1994 to 1999.

Mandela has received more than 250 awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Order of Canada and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2001, he was the first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen. Many monuments and statues around the world have been dedicated to him.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is known as “the father of the nation.”

*This is a simplification of a complex and long-standing issue in South Africa that starts even before the 1950s.

**The society actually had four main groups that were kept apart from each other: “natives,” “whites,” “coloureds” and “Asians”.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
A famous quotation by anthropologist Margaret Mead is: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

How does this quotation connect to the work done by Nelson Mandela in South Africa?

Reading Prompt:
In this article, and around the world, Nelson Mandela is described as a hero.

In your opinion, what is the definition of a hero? In what ways could Nelson Mandela be considered a hero?

Make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Asterisk
An asterisk is star-shaped (*) and it is placed in a sentence when further explanation is required. The further details and information are at the end of the article.

Why do you think the journalist chose to put asterisks in two places in the article? If you were writing the article, would you have added in any other asterisks? If yes, what additional information would you have wanted to add?