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Leadership 3 - Semester 2 Newsletter

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Develop of leadership skill

Develop of Leadership Skills

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in a region called Umtata in Thembuland, South Africa, on the banks of the Mbashe River. He was the son of Chief Henry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu, and is thereby a member of a royal family from a long line of royalty. His birth name, Rolihlahla (ho-lee-hla-hla), translates literally as "The one who pulls on tree branches" or more generally as "someone who is a troublemaker." (Donna O'Meara. Faces Feb 2006. Peterborough: Vol.22, Iss. 6;  pg. 10, 2 pgs) At age five, Mandela began to herd goats and cows, which provided milk for the whole village. This was an important job in his clan, as cattle were considered a blessing from God. By caring for animals, Mandela learned how to be responsible at a young age. He was groomed from birth to be a leader of his people. It was well known that his father was a stern authority figure that used a stick at times to punish his son - a common method of discipline when Mandela was a child. As the son of a great leader, Mandela was expected to stand proudly and bear any punishment he deserved.

Mandela was strong willed. When he saw his father, refuse to accept a white judge's right to make decisions for the Tembu people, Mandela learned the importance in standing up for what he believed in. Mandela also inherited his father's stubbornness and rebelliousness, traits that would be useful in leading a revolution, in the future years. When Mandela was nine, his father died, and the acting chief of the Tembu, became his guardian. Mandela was enrolled at a local mission school in primary education. While he was there, a teacher gave him the name Nelson. He was well educated in school, and at home he was taught to be himself and to speak his thoughts, becoming known in the village as a boy who could express himself very well. (Donna O'Meara. Faces, Feb 2006.)

At 16, he underwent a painful physical rite of passage to signify the end of his childhood and the beginning of manhood. He admits he was not as strong as some of the other boys, but he did become a man. As in his earlier trials of childhood, he learned that pain and suffering were things to be endured and not complained about.

Mandela attended mission school when he was young and as he grew up he later attended Clarke bury training college, where he did his upper secondary education. He later went to study a bachelors of Art degree at Fort Hare College in the Eastern Cape. In the years between 1941- 1951 Mandela started to study on part time, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law at the Witwatersrand University at the Wit Law School. By 1952 Mandela was a qualified attorney, and was a practicing Lawyer in Johannesburg in South Africa for a number of years ( Mary Benson- Nelson Mandela, The man and the movement 1986 W.W Norton & Company) The Day of Volunteers in Durban South Africa was the first day that Mandela addressed the rally meeting.

Going through the brief life history of Mandela it can be evidenced that Mandela began to develop his leadership skill when he was still a child. The leadership traits were within their royal family and he grew up with it. Going to university to get a law degree only improved his skills, which he had already developed. He ended up being an attorney before the struggle started which meant that his leadership skills where polished at that level.