Nelson Mandela Turns 94: Madiba's Life in Social Media
Happy 94th Birthday, Madiba. What if Social Media Existed During Nelson Mandela's Youth?
Nelson Mandela, anti-Apartheid freedom fighter, comic book character and former South African President, turned 94 on July 18. (You'll often see Nelson Mandela referred to as Madiba; that's his Xhosa clan name.)
Born in Eastern Cape back when it was the Transkei, Nelson Mandela was given the name Rolihlahla, which means "troublemaker", and has lived up to it ever since, taking up the struggle to rid South Africa of apartheid. After 27 years in prison, Mandela emerged to become South Africa's first black president, and served as the moral compass of the ANC for years to come.
How Many Kids does Nelson Mandela Have?
Nelson Mandela has six children from ex-wives Evelyn Ntoko Mase and Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela, who have in turn given him 20 grandchildren. Mandela married his third wive, Graca Michel, on his 80th birthday.
Xhosa Initiation ceremony: #ouch
The video below is beautiful and haunting. However, what about the effects of social media beyond just telling a story with cute iconography?
Surely Nelson Mandela and other leaders could have somehow been alerted to the impending raid at Rivonia had their friends, family, and supporters had access to pay-as-you-go mobile phones and the web.
Poverty and lack of infrastructure were effective weapons against the majority of South Africans. When we talk about the importance of mobile networks and internet access in Africa, it's not so people can use ebay: these tools can do powerful things, and don't need the huge hardware commitment of 20th-century phone lines.
Those who possess more than a Pinterest-grade attention span should read Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.