Nelson Mandela – A Hero to be Remembered


Olivier Douliery

Courtesy of MCT Campus

A renowned hero and peacekeeper, Nelson Mandela and his efforts towards ending apartheid in South Africa are memorable.

His methods are different than those of other peacekeepers such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., and many seem to have brushed over that fact. Although Mandela was a great man who did much as the president of South Africa and for the apartheid cause, he did resort to violence to fight his cause. I do not, however, think this is ethically wrong.

Mandela made great attempts to use non-violence but there came a time when he realized that his efforts were in vain. Although a peacekeeper, Mandela knew that there was no way he could continue in his civil ways of protesting. What made Mandela a great man and a true hero was his willingness to use any method possible to achieve his goals.

There may be those who believe that Mandela’s use of violence was wrong, but I, personally, do not. In the country we live in, the United States of America, do we not turn to war to aid us in our efforts when peaceful means cannot be met?

It is unrealistic to expect change to always come with civil protests. That does not mean that violence is always the answer. I am a strong believer that civil ways are always the way to start, but that doesn’t mean one cannot later turn to violence.

The chief belief of Ghandi and Martin Luther king Jr. was civil protesting and non-violence. Those men gave their lives to stand up for that belief and I don’t believe Mandela should be compared to them in the way that he his. Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. would not have agreed with Mandela’s ways and I think people tend to forget that.

It is very true that Nelson Mandela was an astounding man and the fact that even after spending 27 years imprisoned, he did not give up his ideals. Instead, he fought for them even harder. Many people would have broken if they underwent the hardships that Mandela did.

Nelson Mandela was among the strongest of people I have ever heard of. His accomplishments caught the attention of people all across the world and though he deserves to be honored, it should be for his willingness to keep going, in any way he could, when everything around him was telling him to give up, not merely for his peaceful protests.