There were many turning points during Mandela’s life, some more important than others. I have selected four of these that I think are the most important. The first step in his political career was joining the African National Congress in 1943. The ANC inspired Mandela to start his mission to improve the rights of black Africans, shaping the rest of his life, and also the lives of black Africans to this day. Joining the ANC was a very important step in his life, as he was taught determination, discipline and the right to stand up for his freedom.
It also caused him to go on and be a founding member of the ANC Youth League. When Mandela’s treason trial collapsed, Nelson grew more militant, and helped to launch a new branch off the ANC named Umkhonto we Sizwe, he planned to continue the struggle for the ANC’s Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws by force. Nelson was the chief, he had to travel around secretly, keeping ahead of those he knew were trying to arrest him.
He underwent military training in different countries and made many personal friendships, friends that influenced him to be hard-liner.
However, whilst in prison for leaving the country illegally, plans were found which outlined a strategy for guerrilla warfare in South Africa. This was a huge turning point in his life; instead of fighting peacefully he was building an army. If he hadn’t turned this way, he would not have been put in jail for life.
Whilst in prison, Mandela’s reputation grew. The whole of Africa knew his name, this gave the ANC world recognition and even while in prison, Mandela continued to be a beacon of hope for his people who carried on the struggle against Apartheid in his absence.
Mandela was very self disciplined and was able to effectively make himself the master of his own prison, managing to bend even the most brutal wardens to his will, with his intelligence and charm. In prison, Nelson did not lose his determination. If the guards told them to run, he insisted on walking. Nelsons character changed during his imprisonment, he became less militant, but was consistent and when he was released in February 1990 he was still fighting for the black Africans freedom. The last important turning point of his life was his release from prison in 1990 onwards.
After release, he continued his efforts for freedom, winning the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize leading on to become president of South Africa in 94. Finally, blacks and whites in Africa were equal, and instead of the police force concentrating on apartheid, they clamped down on violence. Still, this day, Mandela remains a symbol of his country and plays an important role on the world stage today. Black Africans will never forget he who reshaped their country. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Only free men can negotiate.