Study of Mandela

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Kevin Luu

How does Mandela use nationalism to unify South Africa?

Nelson Mandela became the first black president to lead South Africa. He was given the opportunity of restoring a country with crime, poverty and especially, social adversity. Mandela had to find a way to unify South Africa and bring the people together. When Mandela became president - after the apartheid, white people feared that the social pyramid had turned upside down. They feared that black people would take vengeance from the harassment they’ve done to them. Consequently, on Mandela’s first day of his job, almost everyone white person in the building had already packed their boxes and were prepared to be fired. Mandela believed that “forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon,” therefore, he had to show that the white people shouldn’t have any fear. In order to do so, he used what they loved and treasured most, rugby.

Mandela began by hosting the Rugby World Cup in South Africa and seeing that white people cherished the Springboks, the South African rugby team, Mandela supported them as well. He followed behind their every step and even invited the captain, Francois Piennar for tea. Mandela wanted them to win the World Cup, but it seemed very unlike that it would be accomplished. During his tea with Piennar, they discussed about inspiration, and how they both used it to motivate them when it’s most needed. For Mandela, during his 27 years in prison, he would read poems; whereas Piennar played a song that the team would sing together before a match. After the tea, Piennar realized that winning the Rugby World Cup was more than just a game; it would affect all of South Africa too. Through this motivation, Piennar was able to bring the team to the finals. This brought happiness to all the white people and made them realize that they did not have to fear the new South Africa, seeing as Mandela recognized the importance of rugby...
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