Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a political leader and philanthropist who served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was an anti-Apartheid activist, who worked to dismantle the legacy of apartheid, an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap or white supremacy. He is also considered by many to be the father of South Africa, and he is remembered on July 18 of every year through the International Nelson Mandela Day. Also Read - Nelson Mandela Day 2020: Here Are Some Famous And Inspirational Quotes From Madiba

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 at Mvezo, Cape Province, Union of South Africa to the Thembu royal family. His early life was spent learning about the traditional Thembu custom and taboo, and tending to cattle. He began his studies when he was about 7-years of age at a local Methodist school, and later studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. Also Read - Nelson Mandela Was Pleased I Didn't Tour South Africa During Apartheid Regime: Viv Richards

In 1943, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) party and became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics. When the National Party’s white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC worked to overthrow it. He was arrested several times for seditious activities and in 1962, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial. Also Read - Ramaphosa's visit reaffirms India-South Africa bonds: Pravasi Bharatiya

History of International Nelson Mandela Day:

The day is celebrated in honour of Nelson Mandela and it is marked on July 18, which is his birthday. The United Nations General Assembly officially declared the day in November 2009, and the first UN Mandela Day was held on July 18, 2010. But other groups had been marking the day since July 18, 2009.

Significance of International Nelson Mandela Day:

International Nelson Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday but as a day to honour the legacy and values of Nelson Mandela. It is a day to highlight the work he did for 67 years, fighting for social justice, and to carry it forward. The day is also a global call to action with the idea that every individual has the power to transform the world and to make an impact.