Nelson Mandela’s legacy on Heritage

Mandela's funeral brought many South Africans out to mourn. Mandela was buried in the rolling hills of South Africa Credit: Associated Press
Mandela’s funeral brought many South Africans out to mourn. Mandela was buried in the rolling hills of South Africa Credit: Associated Press

  Born on July 18 in 1918, Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo, South Africa. According to, he was the first to go to school in his family, where he started to be interested in African history while learning Xhosa, English and social studies.

  According to, his decision to change the customs in South Africa stemmed not only from school, but also from a ceremony in which he learned that he and his village were enslaved in their own country by the white foreigners. Mandela soon after became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement, joined the African National Congress, or the ANC, and then because of this, was arrested and confined to prison for 27 years.

  Due to his strength and courage when fighting apartheid, Mandela and then President Frederik Willem de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1991, a year after his release, Mandela was elected to be the first black president of South Africa, debated, and then finally became president in 1994. He remained in this position for 4 years before he decided to retire and not run for the 1999 election.

  According to, after his death, he had been trying to improve the South African heartland by building schools and health clinics while establishing the Nelson Mandela Foundation. According to, a couple of years after his retirement, he had been hit with prostate cancer which was soon cured and then contracted a lung infection which was the cause of his death.

  On December 5, 2013, Mandela passed away at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. This news shocked the world and affected people over 10,000 miles away in Littleton, Colorado.

  At Heritage, Mandela’s effect reached students and teachers alike.

  “Heritage’s motto is ‘The first among equals.’  My hope is that Nelson Mandela’s relentless spirit to create equality, not only in his country but the world, should continue to drive and remind Heritage students to work for change that doesn’t necessarily affect them directly. His legacy of living up to our light should be our challenge and goal,” says Mrs. Katie Krumm.

  This influence that Mandela has left behind has endured and will continue to persevere in the face of darkness according to teachers and students at Heritage.

  “Although we’ve lost Nelson Mandela, the inspiration he’s left at Heritage still lives on,” says Marc Thompson ‘14.

  Heritage recently is also going through a major conflict as many students now consider themselves Arapahoe Warriors in their time of sorrow and worries. Mandela’s effect on Heritage brings out the hope and empathy in every student as they try to help in anyway they can.

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