Eighteen years ago today, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Prison. It was an event watched across the globe. Eighteen years. That means he has not been a prisoner for the lifespan of virtually every school student in the world. So what does Nelson Mandela represent to them?
Luckily, he has remained a hero since leaving prison. His enormous sacrifice is behind him, but he has done much work in the last eighteen years, not least of which was to become the first African president of South Africa.
- He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his work in creating those first multi-racial elections
- He helped negotiate the trial of the two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
- He has brought attention to the AIDS epidemic since his presidency ended
- He supports the Make Poverty History campaign
- He is one of the founding members of The Elders, a group dedicated to solving global problems
His is a good example that heroes can not rest on their laurels. They must continue to be heroic, whether it is in large or small ways.