Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress Exploratory Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He longed for democracy in his country. Clearly, he supported the African National Congress (ANC) as the major aim of this organization was to create a free democratic African state.

In the first place, it is necessary to note that Nelson Mandela was brought up in terms of tribal traditions. He witnessed the way major issues were discussed and he called this “democracy in its purest form”.1 He knew that the real leader had to listen to all viewpoints and come to the right conclusion. Admittedly, British imperialism tried to destroy such mindset. Africans were oppressed in their own land and their opinion was never taken into account.

It is noteworthy that Africans tried to defend their rights in many ways. There were lots of organizations and even groups of people that tried to fight against apartheid. The ANC was one of such organizations.

Mandela as well as many other Africans was in favor of the major goals of the organization. Africans were already tired of being oppressed and deprived of their basic rights.

The ANC were fighting for Africans’ rights. The organization resorted to numerous methods. There were meetings and gatherings, strikes and marches, etc. The organizations promoted the idea of free African people and their democratic African state.

The organization was formed by Africans who had been brought up in a tribal (i.e. democratic) society.2 The organization was very close to African people as it was formed by Africans and for Africans.

Notably, the ANC was a kind of antipode to the British government which was British as British ideas dominated.

Nonetheless, the ANC had to handle a variety of challenges. Interestingly, Mandela’s attitude towards the ANC can be regarded as a symbolic depiction of the organization’s development. When Mandela was in his teens and twenties, he hardly heard of the organization.3

Likewise, many Africans knew little about the ANC and those who were associated with the organization were seen as rebels.4 Soon, the organization became known by many Africans and it won lots of followers.

Another challenge the ANC had to face was collaboration with other organizations. Admittedly, African organizations did not have enough resources to take their stand and oppose the British forces. The ANC had to collaborate with many organizations.

However, this collaboration often had negative effects. For instance, collaboration with communism had a negative impact as many people were against it.5

Nelson Mandela was also against collaboration with communists, though later he changed his mind and understood that communism had a lot of positive facets. It was also difficult to decide what strategies to use.

Many people promoted violent methods but some were trying to use non-violent actions. Therefore, different view on the methods to use and organizations to collaborate with resulted in loads of challenges for the ANC.

However, the major goal made these differences meaningless and people continued fighting.

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the ANC played one of the most important roles in the development of South Africa.

This organization contributed greatly to the abolition of apartheid in the region. Notably, the ANC faced loads of challenges but the organization managed to remain alive and kicking as people were united by a really important aim. Africans were fighting for their free and democratic state.


Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom. New York, NY: Little Brown and Company, 1995.


  1. Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Little Brown and Company, 1995), 21.
  2. Ibid., 86.
  3. Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Little Brown and Company, 1995), 65.
  4. Ibid., 64.
  5. Ibid., 100.
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