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As was custom at the time, and probably due to the bias of the British educational system in South Africa, Mandela’s teacher told him that his new first name would be Nelson.When Mandela was 9 years old, his father died of lung disease, causing his life to change dramatically.For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.

Because their land was controlled by white men, they would never have the power to govern themselves, the chief said.

He went on to lament that the promise of the young men would be squandered as they struggled to make a living and perform mindless chores for white men.

Mandela was given the same status and responsibilities as the regent’s two other children, his son and oldest child, Justice, and daughter Nomafu.

Mandela took classes in a one-room school next to the palace, studying English, Xhosa, history and geography.

When Mandela was 16, it was time for him to partake in the traditional African circumcision ritual to mark his entrance into manhood.