Mandela the Icon: Tips on Writing an Essay on Nelson Mandela


When you write an essay on a political a figure like Mandela, it is always hard to find proper words to describe the persona as big and influential as he was. Like in our case about Mandela, the man was born in obscurity and even when the apartheid Dutch regime arrested him, only a handful of people outside the then Azania know him. But after they released him, the whole world knew about him.

When the great African icon bowed his last, the whole world knew about it and mourned him as their president. In his native land of South Africa, his nation mourned him as their fallen “Tata” (daddy). In fact, thousands of clever marketers turned to his name as a selling point and made millions of dollars by calling their products “Mandela.” That is the son of Mandela. Given the high stature the man had curved for himself, it is not possible to mention great African heroes without mentioning him.

But what is it about “Madiba” that makes him inspire such respect and admiration among all the peoples of this world? What does it take to write a great and moving essay about this great African hero? This post will share tips that will help you in drafting a compelling Nelson Mandela essay. It will discuss the most tantalizing ingredients you need to include in the assignment to make it more “tempting” and forceful.

His history

On 18 July the year 1918, Mr. Henry Mandela and Mrs. Fanny Mandela of Transkei in South Africa had a bouncing baby boy whom they named Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela. The boy continued growing and when he joined school, his academic genius endeared him to his teachers. That is why one of them was so much impressed by the intelligence that rested in this boy that he had to nick name him “Nelson” to make him “fit in the while man’s club.” This renaming was inspired by the ignorance and prejudice that kept him wondering how “an African could be this smart.” Since that day, most people know him as Nelson Mandela, but that was not the name his parents gave him.

Related to royalty, but raised outside

Another ingredient you need to include in your Mandela essay is the social status he had. Mandela was related to the royal family that ruled his community. However, he never grew close to them because his father died when he was barely nine years old. One of his uncles took and raised him as an orphan. The fact that he was orphaned at an early age makes his story more inspiring to those who have gone or are going through life without fathers.

A sport lover and boxer

As he was growing up in school, Mandela loved sports. One of the sports he loved the most was boxing. Perhaps he never knew that a few years later he would be “boxing” an evil and inhuman Dutch regime that was discriminating against the natives of the land. During his college days, he participated in a school strike and the school suspended him. However, he continued studying the law by correspondence until he graduated in 1941.

He set records

His tenacity and determination to become a lawyer and defend justice made him a history maker. After he graduated from the university, he teamed up with his friend Oliver Tambo to set up the first law firm owned and run by Africans in a white-dominated South Africa. Later on in 1944, Mandela and his friend Tambo joined the African National Congress (ANC) to advance the course of justice for the blacks who were reeling from the diabolic reign of racial discrimination.

This is how Mandela looked like

To write a great essay on Nelson Mandela, you should give your readers a clear picture of what he looked like—on the inside. Without showing them this, you will not have showed them who the real man was. The reason is that a man is what constitutes his heart, and not his story, history, or achievements. That is why sage Solomon said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” So, how did Mandela look like? This is the internal configuration that constituted his internal personality.

  • Fearless courage

Courage is one of the internal virtues that define the son of Mandela. If he was a coward, the first expulsion he faced from his school could have been enough to dampen his spirit. But he soldiered on and confronted the apartheid Dutch regime even when they arrested him for 27 years.

  • Loyalty and commitment

Mandela was a not a politician. If he were one, he would have accepted taken the offer for personal freedom and left millions of fellow Africans under the chains of racial discrimination. But he was covenanted with his people at all cost, and that is why he could not betray them behind the scenes for personal gain and benefit. If he were one of the selfish African politicians we have today, he could have clung to power until death. On the contrary, he chose to be president for a single term when he had the goodwill of a whole world to run for a second or even, a third term. His unselfish nature allowed him to become a bridge that others would use to cross to a greater and more united South Africa.

  • Endurance

As a leader, Mandela demonstrated the highest form of resilience and endurance. Beside him, there is no other African freedom fighter who spent more than 15 years in prison and then when he is released, he does not want to spend more than five years at state house. He could have given up due to the suffering and torture he suffered, but he did not.

  • A champion for human dignity and equality

Mandela’s heart was inspired by the desire to see all human beings enjoying equal rights in spite of their skin color. He did not fight white discrimination to replace it with black discrimination. That is why when he took over, he did not create a black-dominated republic, but rather, he enhanced the racial “rainbow” that constituted the nation.

  • Forgiveness, the divine side of the man

Of all the virtues that Mandela exhibited, none of them is more powerful than this—forgiving those who tortured him. Most of the other virtues listed above can be abused to achieve selfish and personal ends. But forgiveness is the most powerful of them all because “to error is human, but to forgive is Divine.” If you do not tell this side of Mandela, then the essay is incomplete.

But he had a “but”

The last thing you need to include in your essay on Mandela is the weaker side of the man. He was a great hero for the people of South Africa and a “Tata” (daddy) to the nation. He inspired many who were fighting for their dignity and freedom BUT in his personal life, he ended up with a dent. After coming out of prison, he lost his marriage to Winnie Madikizela and died with a scar of divorce on his personal life.

Parting shot

We hope these tips have inspired you in your ability to write a compelling essay on Nelson Mandela. You now have the power in your hands to excel in these kinds of assignment. If you have no time to do that but are assigned to such a task, our excellent essay writing service will pay attention to all the details and will make a perfect essay about Mandela for you.

1 Comment

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  1. 1
    Patrick Thuo

    Your planning is amazing Mark. Your marketing honed and your resilience tested.

    I like how you brought out the service and of course Madiba.

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